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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

  • 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 5 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 protect workers and public safety, to reduce IDOT's liability, and to minimize delays by operating in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Position is based in Savoy, Illinois. 

  • Visiting Senior Scientific Specialist, Technical - Illinois Sustainable Technology Center

    The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center seeking to hire a Visiting Senior Scientific Specialist, Technical (up to 3, depending on applicant pool and programmatic need) 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.  

  • 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 2 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, and 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.

  • Student Hourly GIS - 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.

  • Environmental Public Health Professional

    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.

  • Graduate Research Assistantships - Illinois Natural History Survey

    The Illinois Natural History Survey (a division of the Prairie Research Institute of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) is seeking two Graduate Research Assistants to conduct research in aquatic ecology, invasion biology, or recreational fisheries management. Specifically, we seek an MS RA for a project on the behavioral ecology of the invasive Black Carp, including an experimental assessment of the flow preferences and predatory impacts of juvenile Black Carp. Secondly, we are seeking an MS or Ph.D. RA to conduct research on habitat enhancement of urban recreational fisheries.  

  • Hourly Research Assistant - Sediment Laboratory, Illinois State Water Survey

    Assist the ISWS Sediment Laboratory Analyst by performing various duties as needed: prepare samples for analysis, prepare supplies and material for analytical methods, washing bottles/caps, taring bottles/glass filters, data entry, and general laboratory upkeep.