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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

  • Archaeological Field Technicians – Northern Illinois Field Station - Illinois State Archaeological Survey

    The Illinois State Archaeological Survey is seeking to hire Archaeological Field Technicians (Academic 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 Northern Illinois Field Station in Elgin, 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.

  • Stream and River Research Technicians (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey/PRI

    The Stream Ecology lab at the Illinois Natural History Survey is seeking up to 7 research technicians to conduct bioassessments of aquatic life in streams and rivers in Illinois.The position will be stationed in Champaign Illinois, but travel will occur throughout the state.

  • Lab Technician (Hourly) - Illinois Natural History Survey

    The Illinois Natural History Surveys Wildlife Vet Lab is seeking Lab Technicians to assist with laboratory tasks associated with wildlife research. This position will be based in Champaign, IL. The position will remain open until filled. 

  • Environmental Monitoring - Illinois State Water Survey, PRI

    ISWS is seeking to hire a Visiting Scientific Specialist, Environmental Monitoring to support research activities of the Survey by providing research and technical support to the Water & Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program networks. 

    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.

  • 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. 

  • Medical Entomology Field Technician (Hourly): Illinois Natural History Survey

    The Illinois Natural History Survey’s Medial Entomology Lab is seeking undergraduate students or hourly technicians for seasonal field and lab work on mosquito and tick surveillance and research. The position is based at the Illinois Natural History Survey Medical Entomology Lab, within the University Research Park. 

  • Sustainability Technician – Academic Hourly

    This position will be part of the Technical Assistance Program (TAP) at ISTC. This position will primarily support others who work with companies and organizations to evaluate and identify opportunities to improve their sustainability, and to support and document their actual implementation of sustainability activities associated with materials, processes, water and wastewater, energy utilization, waste minimization and recycling.

  • Sustainability Scientist, Technical

    The Prairie Research Institute (PRI) is seeking to hire a Technical Sustainability Professional (Official Title: Visiting Scientific Specialist, Technical (entry level) 1021853 or Senior Scientific Specialist, Technical (higher level) 1018252) to collaborate with businesses, manufacturing, and industrial entities as well as municipal agencies, colleges, and universities throughout Illinois to improve sustainability, provide technical assistance in identifying opportunities and implementing sustainable solutions associated with materials, processes, water and wastewater, energy utilization, waste minimization and recycling. 

    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.

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

    The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC: https://www.istc.illinois.edu/) invites applications for postdoctoral research associate positions. We are seeking qualified and motivated researchers to join a project team aimed at advancing the characterization of coal combustion residual (CCR) effluents. The postdocs will collaborate with a strong cohort of staff, postdocs, and students at the Prairie Research Institute (PRI: https://prairie.illinois.edu/) and University of Illinois Urban-Champaign

  • Wastewater Specialist

    The Prairie Research Institute (PRI) is seeking to hire a Wastewater Professional (Official Title: Senior Scientific Specialist, Wastewater) to conduct research activities within PRI developing, planning, and conducting applied research related to onsite and municipal wastewater treatment; conduct outreach activities to disseminate research results and provide education to stakeholders; serve as a wastewater treatment expert for outreach and education activities supporting both professionals and system owners; ensure data meet the rigorous standards required for scientific research and analysis; and advance institutional public health goals related to One Health and drinking water.

  • Associate Research Scientist, Coastal Resilience - Prairie Research Institute

    The Prairie Research Institute (PRI) in partnership with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) and the Great Lakes Higher Education Consortium (GLHEC) through the Office of the Vice President for Economic Development and Innovation at the University of Illinois System, is seeking a Coastal Resilience Scientist to conduct impactful research, enhance outreach programs, and foster collaborations in Great Lakes coastal resilience. Great Lakes coastal resilience is vital, focusing on the dynamic interaction across the critical interface encompassing land, coast, and water in response to human and climate-induced ecological and geomorphological changes. This role requires enhancing coordination, communication, and teamwork within PRI and across other university units. It involves developing and leading comprehensive outreach programs to educate a range of stakeholders from government officials to the general public about coastal resilience challenges and viable management solutions. Interaction with external partners, including governmental bodies, industries, and NGOs, is essential, along with fostering international collaborations and effectively disseminating study results through various mediums and platforms.   Position will be based in Winthrop Harbor, Illinois. 

  • Student Hourlies GIS & Programming - Illinois State Water Survey, PRI

    We are seeking several University of Illinois graduate students  to assist with preparing digitally available GIS data and analyzing streamflow statistics regionalization at the Illinois State Water Survey.  The primary duty will be to assist our staff to compile a geodatabase with geology, hydrogeology, land use/land cover, soil, and climate information. It is also expected that the student will prepare data for streamflow statistics regionalization. Detailed documentation is required.

  • Environmental Public Health - Prairie Research Institute

    The Prairie Research Institute (PRI) is seeking to hire an Environmental Public Health Professional (Official Title: Senior Scientific Specialist, Environmental Public Health) to lead and administer research activities within PRI by developing, planning, and conducting applied research related to groundwater, water quality, and private wells with emphasis on emerging contaminants and drinking water contamination; conduct outreach activities to disseminate research results and provide education to stakeholders; ensure data meet the rigorous standards required for scientific research and analysis; and advance institutional public health goals related to One Health. To view the full description and to apply (by 6pm CST Monday, April 15, 2024), please visit https://illinois.csod.com/ux/ats/careersite/1/home/requisition/9756?c=illinois