Scientific Specialist, Biodiversity Informatics

Salary: $50,000 - $65,000
Created: January 27, 2020


The Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) investigates and documents the biological resources of Illinois and other areas, and acquires and provides natural history information that can be used to promote the common understanding, conservation, and management of these resources. INHS 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. Learn more at

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

INHS is seeking a Scientific Specialist who will Support biological research activities of the Survey by researching, designing, and creating prototype interface and experiences that accelerate biodiversity-centric software developed by the Species File Group. This position is located in Champaign, Illinois.

Major Duties and Responsibilities Include:

  • Research and design biologist-serving user interfaces and user-experiences for workflows that serve biodiversity science.
  • Implement prototypes using modern frameworks.
  • Design, implement and maintain interfaces to pipelines for aggregating biodiversity data.
  • Build machine-assisted, user-driven interfaces for curating biodiversity data stores.
  • Identify data algorithms and specialized computer software to facilitate data curation via user-interfaces.
  • Deliver results as whitepapers and open-sources libraries.
  • Work with Survey Scientist and support staff to facilitate digital biological data storage and management.
  • Work with providers related services to ensure interoperability and long-term sustainability.
  • Collaborate with other developers to form a cohesive workflow for biodiversity informatics.
  • Study and improve performance prototype and production interfaces using quantitative and qualitative measures.
  • Objectively test prototypes.
  • Perform other duties in order to further the mission and goals of the Survey, PRI, and the University of Illinois.
  • Keep abreast of developments in this discipline.

Required Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Information Science, Design, Software Architecture or related field. Alternate degree fields will be considered depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position. Significant experience in design, interface development, and user-experience design, assessment, and testing. Significant experience in script-based languages, preferably in JavaScript. Creative efforts that have a demonstrable means of success. Demonstrated commitment to open-source communities. Relationship and application of script-based languages and their role in user-interface development. 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. Proficiency in commonly-employed software and databases.

Preferred Qualifications:

Demonstrated experience with modern UI and UX principles and a creative artistic foundation. Demonstrated ability to find and implement existing libraries that can prototype research products. Valid Driver’s License.

Environmental Demands:

Will involve travel. Overnight travel may be necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of this position. The work of this position takes place in an office setting. The work is sedentary and involves remaining in a stationary position for extended periods of time working at a computer, using a keyboard and mouse, and using repetitive hand motions.

Proposed Start Date: Negotiable

Salary:  $50, 000 - $65,000, depending on qualifications and experience.

Appointment Status:   

This is a regular full-time academic professional appointment, renewable annually based upon satisfactory progress in the position and continued funding.

To Apply:  Please complete your candidate profile at and upload a PDF cover letter, CV/resume, and the names and contact information (including e-mail addresses) for three professional references by January 31, 2020. Interviews may be conducted before the closing date; however, no hiring decision will be made until after the closing date.  All requested information must be submitted for your application to be considered.  Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

For further information, please contact Amber Hall at or 217-300-4080.  For technical questions regarding the position, please contact Matt Yoder at

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

Last updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2020 02:06 UTC