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The Prairie Research Institute (PRI) and its five constituent surveys—the Illinois Natural History Survey, Illinois State Archaeological Survey, Illinois State Geological Survey, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, and Illinois State Water Survey—serve the state of Illinois by providing rigorous, objective scientific research, data, and expertise to help understand, manage, and protect our essential natural resources. With around 600 full-time staff, PRI is one of the largest research institutes at the University of Illinois.

PRI is based in Urbana-Champaign, a diverse, affordable, micro-urban community. Learn more about Urbana-Champaign

U of I HR provides more information about applying to and working at the University of Illinois, including available benefits.

If you have questions about any PRI open positions or the application process, contact a member of our human resources team:

blog posts

  • Aquatic Ecology Database Developer (Hourly) - INHS/PRI

    The Illinois River Bioloical Station is seeking a database developer to to assimilate disparate long-term and targeted biological monitoring and research data sources into a functional database repository that is updateable and queryable across projects. The position will also require metadata creation, data analytics and involve data integration platforms. The database developer will also participate in the design and development of API and backend components to generate data metrics and facilitate user access. 

  • Visiting Scientific Specialist, Environmental Assessments Researcher - Illinois State Geological Survey

    The Illinois State Geological Survey is seeking to hire a Visiting Scientific Specialist, Environmental Assessments Researcher (up to five depending on applicant pool and programmatic need) to perform sponsored research on environmental assessments. The assessments will involve evaluating potential environmental and geologic hazards and risks for Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) infrastructure improvement projects. IDOT’s infrastructure projects range in size and can involve anything from a single property to hundreds of properties across many miles of existing or future highways.  IDOT uses the assessments completed by ISGS to assess each project’s needs, plan the agency’s short-term and long-term needs, assist in land acquisition decisions, and promote awareness of natural and man-made hazards that may affect the project and its construction.  This is a hybrid position.  Field vehicles and equipment are based out of our office in Lisle, Illinois, a western Chicago suburb.

  • Assistant Research Scientist, Quantitative Ecology - Illinois Natural History Survey/PRI

    The Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking a Quantitative Ecologist who will explore and quantitatively assess existing fish length and age data to evaluate various approaches to fish stock assessment and identify/pursue data gaps to characterize reach-specific population demographics of recreational and commercially important sport fishes in Illinois and Mississippi rivers and evaluate current sampling strategies for riverine sportfish. This position will be located at the Illinois River Biological Station in Havana, Illinois. 

  • Archaeological Field Technicians – American Bottom Field Station - Illinois State Archaeological Survey

    The Illinois State Archaeological Survey is seeking to hire Archaeological Field Technicians (Hourly Assistants) to serve as excavators and surveyors capable of performing basic archaeological identification, interpretation, and recordation tasks under the direct supervision of a Research Archaeologist. Duties include, but are not limited to, participation in Phase I field surveys, Phase II site testing, Phase III archaeological mitigation projects, and associated analysis activities based at the ISAS American Bottom Field Station in Collinsville, Illinois. These are full-time (40 hours per week), non-benefits eligible, field/laboratory positions with an hourly rate of $16 to $18 depending on qualifications.

  • Fisheries Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey

    The Sam Parr Biological Station is seeking field technicians to conduct field and experimental work as well as laboratory tasks in support of research projects on sportfish management and invasion biology in lakes and ponds. This position will be based out of the Sam Parr Biological Station in Kinmundy, IL.

  • Assistant Research Scientist, Large River Ecology

    INHS is seeking a Large River Ecologist who will serve as coordinator for the aquatic macroinvertebrate component of the Long Term Resource Monitoring element of the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program.  This position will coordinate field collection of benthic and colonizer macroinvertebrate communities among six LTRM field stations in the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, manage a lab responsible for identifying and enumerating aquatic macroinvertebrate taxa, monitor the status and trends of macroinvertebrates in the UMR, synthesize and analyze long-term data and communicate scientific findings through reports and scientific publications. Additional research into other areas of study related to aquatic macroinvertebrates and large river ecology will be encouraged.  This position is located in Havana, Illinois.

  • Financial Operations Specialist or Financial Operations Associate

    The Prairie Research Institute is seeking a Financial Operations Associate or Financial Operations Specialist (level is dependent on qualifications) to assist in monitoring financial activity for assigned non-grant funds, which may include State/GRF Funds, Institutional Funds, Service Funds, Gift Funds, and Plant Funds, to ensure compliance with University guidelines and regulations.

  • Prairie Research Institute - Undergraduate Hourly/Graduate Hourly: Student Assistant

    The Prairie Research Institute is seeking a motivated, resourceful, and mechanically included undergraduate or graduate hourly student to join our team. Student needed to provide assistance to the Research Shop Supervisor and Equipment Specialist III in support of PRI staff and research activities. 

  • Fisheries Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey

    Field technicians (1-4 possible) are needed to conduct applied research in aquatic ecology and large river systems throughout the state of Illinois. Technicians will assist large river ecologists in the collection of standardized long-term river monitoring data with additional targeted data collection. This position will be 40 hours per week and will be located in Havana, Illinois.

  • Geological Collections Hourly Assistant - Illinois State Geological Survey

    The Illinois State Geological Survey is seeking an individual to participate in geological core samples management, digitization, and data preservation.  Position is based in Champaign, Illinois.


  • Hourly Research - WaterOperator.Org, Illinois State Water Survey

    The Illinois State Water Survey is seeking an hourly research assistant to conduct research and gather information from water and wastewater related websites, evaluate research data quality, develop written summaries based on research, and develop scientific content for water/wastewater operator website.