Job announcement: Visiting Scientific Specialist, Environmental Contaminants

View the full announcement.
Application deadline: Feb 3, 2022

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, technical assistance, and information services to advance efforts in the areas of pollution prevention; water and energy conservation; and materials recycling and beneficial reuse. Learn more at

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

ISTC is hiring a Visiting Scientific Specialist, Environmental Contaminants to participate in research and communication in the areas of environmental and emerging contaminates issues. This position is based in Champaign, Illinois.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Research contaminants and emerging contaminants issues.
  • Review and assess submitted scientific abstracts for their validity and relevance to the annual research symposium on emerging contaminants.
  • Contribute to writing reports, blogs, and website content.
  • Collaborate with scientists on research topics.
  • Respond to requests for information and provide technical expertise to PRI staff, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, academia, industry, and the general public.
  • Attend, participate in, and contribute to meetings, conferences, and workshops.
  • Review scientific literature with the purpose of selecting scientific content and speakers for upcoming outreach activities.
  • Prepare structure and research content for the annual research symposium on emerging contaminants.
  • Manage webinars and annual symposiums, including scientific content and logistics.
  • Contribute in the areas of education, outreach, and/or other service to the Survey, PRI, the University of Illinois, and the state of Illinois.
  • Keep abreast of developments in this discipline.
  • Perform other duties as needed in order to further the mission and goals of PRI.

Required Qualifications:   Bachelor’s degree in environmental science or related discipline. Alternate degree fields will be accepted/considered based upon the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position.  Scientific background, preferably in environmental contaminants and emerging contaminant issues. Effective communication, personal relations, collaboration, organizational, teamwork, and leadership skills. Demonstrated ability to perform effectively in a diverse and fast- paced work environment consisting of multiple and changing priorities with stringent deadlines, under minimal supervision. Attention to detail, sound judgment, and strong conflict resolution skills. Affinity for cooperative or interdisciplinary research with scientists at the Survey, professionals at other Surveys or other academic units, as well as governmental and other academic institutions. Proficiency in commonly employed software and databases. Valid driver’s license.  

Preferred Qualifications: Master’s degree in environmental science or related discipline. Alternate degree fields will be accepted/considered based upon the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position.

This is a full-time, visiting academic professional, grant supported, 12-month position subject to the continued availability of funding and programmatic need. Position may become a regular, non-visiting position at a later date depending on funding and programmatic need. The starting date is negotiable and the salary is commensurate with experience.

Applications must be received by February 3, 2022.  Applicants may be interviewed before the closing date; however, no hiring decision will be made until after this date.  To apply, please visit to complete an online profile and to upload 1) a cover letter that clearly articulates how your qualifications and experience make you a viable candidate for this position and should address the qualifications listed above, 2) a résumé/CV, and 3) the names and contact information (including e-mail addresses) of three professional (not personal) references. All requested information/documentation must be submitted for applications to be considered.  Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

For further information please contact Lori Walston-Vonderharr, Human Resources, Prairie Research Institute, at or 217-244-2401.

University of Illinois faculty, staff and students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are not able to receive the vaccine for medical or religious reasons, you may seek approval for an exemption in accordance with applicable University processes.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment.  As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.

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