ISAS Director/Principal Research Scientist

Illinois State Archaeological Survey

Prairie Research Institute

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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The Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) 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. For 80 years, the University of Illinois has studied the state’s archaeological heritage. ISAS incorporates that knowledge in its programs to protect, preserve, and interpret these irreplaceable and non-renewable resources within the context of Illinois’ need to encourage and promote sustainable development. Learn more at


ISAS is seeking a Director/Principal Research Scientist to serve in the top leadership position providing strategic direction and overall administration for the Survey, managing the transportation archaeology program, and establishing additional research programs within ISAS.  This position is based in Champaign, Illinois.


Director responsibilities:

  • Provide leadership, direction, and overall administration for the development, coordination, and implementation of scientific research and service programs.
  • Supervise and lead ISAS staff to conduct the full range of archaeological data recovery, analysis and curation tasks to achieve success.
  • Identify cutting-edge research foci and other multi-disciplinary research themes.
  • Encourage, promote, and facilitate research; identify and secure funding from state, federal and private sources.
  • Foster a culture of innovation and high-level performance at both the individual and organizational level.
  • Ensure the ISAS gathers, disseminates, curates, and archives accurate, objective, and relevant scientific materials information with a focus on Illinois archaeological resources for government, business, and the public.
  • Encourage and lead a strong commitment to diversity through establishing retention and recruiting priorities.
  • Foster a safe and ethical working environment.
  • Oversee ISAS annual budget
  • Participate in PRI leadership, effectively represent the interests of ISAS to PRI, and advise PRI Executive Director and other PRI leaders regarding matters pertinent to the mission of ISAS.
  • Coordinate with PRI leadership in facilitating ISAS development efforts.
  • Facilitate and participate in strategic planning and implementation efforts within ISAS and PRI.
  • Encourage, foster, and develop collaborative research, service, outreach efforts, and relationships with the University of Illinois administration, community, and its stakeholders and external constituents.
  • Conduct and oversee scholarly activity (research, national-level professional service, academic mentoring, or other) to further the reputation of ISAS, PRI, and the campus.
  • Represent ISAS interests and capabilities to local, state, federal, and non-government organization (NGO) partners as appropriate.


Principal Research Scientist responsibilities:

  • Serve as the Principal Investigator for the joint Illinois Department of Transportation-University of Illinois Intergovernmental Agreement Cultural Resources Survey Program.
  • Identify relevant research needs and project opportunities. Develop proposals for external funding and secure funding to support major research projects.
  • Conduct hands-on research. Prepare and publish scholarly publications to include books, books chapters, data monographs, and articles in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Supervise, mentor and lead staff.
  • Contribute to the overall scientific mission of the Institute. Network and collaborate with faculty and scientists with various stakeholders within the University of Illinois and with other universities and institutes in the U.S. and internationally.


Director qualifications:  Required: Ph.D. in archeology, anthropology, or closely related scientific discipline relevant to the mission and goals of PRI and ISAS. Significant experience in academic or government research environments. Administrative experience in a university or state, federal, or non-government organization. Experience in working with state, federal, and relevant non-government organizations. Experience in conducting cultural resources management projects in the U.S. midcontinent. An established record of scholarship and obtaining sponsored funding from state and federal agencies and/or the private sector.  Preferred:  Experience conducting an interdisciplinary research program that is complimentary to and/or promotes collaboration with other ISAS/PRI scientists. Experience in delivering unbiased science which independently impacts public policy.


Principal Research Scientist qualifications:  Required: Ph.D. in archaeology, anthropology, or a closely related discipline to support the mission and goals of PRI and ISAS.  Significant experience in academic or government research environments. Experience administering research projects and staff in a university or state, federal, or non-government organization. Experience in administering and conducting transportation-related archaeological compliance research. Experience in working collaboratively with state and federal agencies, and relevant non-government organizations.  An established record of scholarship and obtaining sponsored funding from state and federal agencies and/or the private sector. Effective communication, personal relations, organizational, and leadership skills. Demonstrated ability to perform with a professional demeanor in a diverse and fast-paced work environment consisting of multiple and changing priorities with stringent deadlines under minimal supervision.  Preferred:  Experience conducting midcontinental archaeological cultural resources management research activities. Experience in delivering unbiased science which independently impacts public policy.


This is a regular full-time academic professional appointment, renewable annually based upon satisfactory progress in the position and continued funding. The starting date is negotiable and salary is commensurate with experience.


To ensure full consideration, applications must be received by November 27, 2018; however, applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  Applicants may be interviewed before November 27, 2018; 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 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.  For technical inquiries please contact Richard Winkel, Deputy Executive Director at  The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit To learn more about the University’s commitment to diversity, please visit