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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 and beyond 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

  • Sustainability - Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, PRI, UIUC

    The Prairie Research Institute (PRI) is seeking to hire a Visiting Scientific Specialist, Sustainability to collaborate with businesses and organizations, municipal entities, colleges and universities, manufacturing, and industrial entities throughout Illinois to provide technical assistance in identifying opportunities and implementing solutions that promote sustainable resource management. Solutions may include reducing and diverting solid waste, water conservation, reducing hazardous waste, reducing emissions, improving energy efficiency, etc. This position will primarily work as part of the Zero Waste Illinois team, but may support other areas.

    The Technical Assistance Program (TAP) of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) is part of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. ISTC integrates applied research, technical assistance, and information services to advance efforts in the areas of pollution prevention; water and energy conservation; and materials recycling and beneficial reuse.

  • Scientific Specialist, Archaeology - Illinois State Archaeological Survey

    The Illinois State Archaeological Survey is seeking to hire a Scientific Specialist, Archaeology to assist with GIS-based spatial analysis, creating maps and other project deliverables, as well as conducting archaeological fieldwork.  Position is based in Champaign, Illinois. 

  • GIS Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey: Deadline to Apply: June 15, 2024

    The Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking an hourly technician to assist with basic and applied research with an emphasis on GIS mapping with some opportunities for Fieldwork. The deadline to apply is June 15, 2024, but the position will remain open until filled. 

  • Laboratory Helper - Illinois State Water Survey, PRI, UIUC

    The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) is part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. Our research and service programs provide citizens, industries, and government agencies at all levels with timely, science-based information and analyses necessary to manage our water resources wisely for economic development and a sustainable environment.   Learn more at go.illinois.edu/PRIjobs.

    ISWS is seeking to hire a Laboratory Helper to assist laboratory (https://www.isws.illinois.edu/health-environmental-applications) personnel by cleaning glassware, logging in samples and performing other laboratory support duties. Provides technical and operational support for PRI labs following all UIUC, PRI and Survey regulations, procedures and policies.

  • Fisheries/Aquatic Ecology Research Technician (Hourly): Kaskaskia Biological Station: Sullivan, Illinois: Deadline to Apply: June 7, 2024

    The Kaskaskia Biological Station which is part of the Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking field technicians to conduct field and laboratory work in support of research projects on sportfish management and invasion biology in lakes and rivers. Current research projects include spatial ecology and food web effects of habitat enhancements in reservoirs, experimental harvest regulations, and the ecology and management of invasive carp in the Illinois River. This position will be located in Sullivan, Illinois. 

  • Chemical Engineering Postdoctoral Research Associate - Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, Prairie Research Institute

    The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) is part of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis. ISTC integrates applied research and technical assistance to advance efforts in the areas of pollution prevention; water and energy conservation; renewable energy, greenhouse gas mitigation, materials recycling, and beneficial reuse. Learn more at go.illinois.edu/PRIjobs.


    The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, or veteran status. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO.


    A postdoctoral research associate position is available to research and develop a process for the catalytic hydrothermal gasification of biomass to renewable natural gas. Key responsibilities will include catalyst development, testing, process engineering, and scale-up. The candidate will be expected to familiarize themself with the relevant literature, plan and execute experiments, analyze and interpret data, write reports, and prepare manuscripts for publication.

  • Assistant Research Scientist, Hydrogeology - Illinois State Geological Survey

    The Illinois State Geological Survey is seeking to hire an Assistant Research Scientist, Hydrogeology to carry out research including data analysis, groundwater aquifer assessments, and numerical modeling of subsurface fluid flow, to 1) characterize and describe the underground sources of drinking water (USDW) for a given area, 2) design sampling and analytical strategies to characterize the properties (e.g., composition, age, etc.) of basin fluids and, 3) conduct numerical flow modeling from basin-scale to understand the migration of basin fluids over geologic time to site-scale to predict the movement of fluids and distribution of pressure during and after active injection. develop and review engineering designs and models of geothermal systems.  Position is based in Champaign, Illinois. 

  • Associate Research Scientist, Engineering - Illinois State Geological Survey

    The Illinois State Geological Survey is seeking to hire an Associate Research Scientist, Engineering to develop and review engineering designs and models of geothermal systems.  Position is based in Champaign, Illinois. 

  • Visiting Scientific Specialist, Historic Mining & Geology - Illinois State Geological Survey

    The Illinois State Geological Survey is seeking to hire a Visiting Scientific Specialist, Historic Mining & Geology (up to 2 depending on applicant pool and programmatic need) to conduct historical research on mining activities in Illinois to assist in the compilation and mapping of coal mine data.  Position is based in Champaign, Illinois. 

  • Aquatic Ecology & Fisheries Lead Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey: Deadline to Apply : May 24, 2024

    The Illinois River Biological Station is seeking up to 3 Aquatic/Fisheries Crew Lead field technicians to conduct applied research in invasive species management and aquatic ecology in large river systems throughout the state of Illinois, focusing on the Mississippi River. This position will be 40 hours per week and will be based in Macomb, Illinois. 

  • Visiting Scientific Specialist, Wetlands Geology - Illinois State Geological Survey

    The Illinois State Geological Survey is seeking to hire a Visiting Scientific Specialist, Wetlands Geology (up to 3 depending on applicant pool and programmatic need) to participate in specialized assessment and monitoring of the hydrogeology and geochemistry of wetlands, streams, bioswales, and other related environments. This position is for a specialist dedicated to field data collection and analysis to support Illinois state agencies under their environmental programs, including the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Tollway, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission. This position will support the analysis and reporting for compliance with various federal (e.g., Clean Water Act) and state regulatory programs.  Position is based in Champaign, Illinois. 

  • Visiting Scientific Specialist, Mining & Geological Data Preservation - Illinois State Geological Survey

    The Illinois State Geological Survey is seeking to hire a Visiting Scientific Specialist, Mining & Geological Data Preservation to catalog and archive historical data and map products of mining and geologic activities in Illinois. Position is based in Champaign, Illinois. 

  • Aquatic Ecology Field Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey - Macomb, IL - Application Deadline: May 24, 2024

    The Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking field technicians (1-3) to conduct applied research in aquatic ecology and large river systems throughout the state of Illinois, focusing on the Mississippi River. Technicians will assist large river ecologists in the collection of standardized long-term river monitoring data with additional targeted data collection and lab sample processing. This position will be 40 hours per week and will be based in Macomb, Illinois.  

  • Fisheries & Aquatic Ecology Field & Lab Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey/Lake Michigan Biological Station - Zion, IL

    The Lake Michigan Biological Station, which is part of the Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking technicians to participate in daily research activities related to monitoring yellow perch population dynamics, nearshore and tributary fish assemblages, benthic invertebrate and zooplankton resources, biological community assessment of nearshore artificial reefs, and sport fish harvest dynamics along the Illinois shoreline of Lake Michigan. This position will be located at the Lake Michigan Biological Station in Zion, IL. Fieldwork will also occur in various locations throughout Cook County and Lake County, IL. 

  • Seasonal Aquatic Ecology & Lab Technician (Hourly) - Lake Michigan Biological Station, Zion Illinois

    The Lake Michigan Biological Station is looking for Seasonal Technicians to interview shoreline and boat anglers on their fishing effort, expenditures, harvest, and biological characteristics of fish in their possession. Participate in monitoring of sport fish harvest dynamics along the Illinois shoreline of Lake Michigan, as well as research activities related to monitoring yellow perch population dynamics, nearshore fish assemblages, and benthic invertebrate and zooplankton prey resources. This position will be located at the Lake Michigan Biological Station in Zion, Illinois. Fieldwork will take place at several sites in Cook County, IL, and Lake County, IL. 

  • Laboratory Assistant (Hourly) - Illinois State Geological Survey

    The Illinois State Geological Survey is seeking to hire an individual to assist in the laboratory analysis of geologic samples and participate in sample and data archiving activities.  Work up to 40 hours per week at $20.00 to $25.00 per hour depending on qualifications.  Position in based in Champaign, Illinois.

  • Visiting Scientific Specialist, Mining Data Preservation - Illinois State Geological Survey

    The Illinois State Geological Survey is seeking to hire a Visiting Scientific Specialist, Mining Data Preservation to help prepare, coordinate, and copyedit technical and scientific reports and maps on mining activities in Illinois for contract fulfillment to funding agencies.. Position is based in Champaign, Illinois. 

  • Strategic Content Specialist

    The Strategic Communications Team at PRI is seeking to hire a Strategic Content Specialist. This position will assist the team with conceptualizing, researching, and producing communication products to effectively reach PRI's internal and external stakeholders/audiences.

  • Analytical Chemistry - Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, Prairie Research Institute

    The Prairie Research Institute (PRI) is seeking to hire an Analytical Chemist (Official Title: Visiting Senior Scientific Specialist, Analytical Chemistry) to plan, conduct, supervise, and formulate collaborations on research related to wastewater treatment and emerging contaminants issues  (aimed at advancing the characterization of coal combustion residual (CCR) effluents.

  • Fisheries/Aquatic Ecology Research Technician (Hourly): Sam Parr Biological Station: Kinmundy, Illinois - Application Deadline: May 31, 2024

    The Sam Parr Biological Station is seeking research 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 is based out of the Sam Parr Biological Station in Kinmundy, Illinois. The deadline to apply is May 31, 2024.