• What is the Research Park?
The University of Illinois Research Park is a leading technology hub that cultivates startups and accelerates corporate innovation. Located on the southern part of campus and situated in a park-like setting, it has 19 buildings with offices, labs, and more. Many companies located in the Research Park hire Illinois students year-round for internships in tech.
• How many companies are located within Research Park?
The Research Park is home to over 120 different companies and growing. Approximately 30 of these companies are large corporate innovation centers with robust internship programs. A full list of current Research Park tenants can be found on our tenant directory.
• Who does Research Park hire?
Research Park hires students of all academic levels and disciplines. There’s a place for freshmen, PhD students, and everyone in between, no matter what they are studying.
Are there Research Park positions for graduate students?
There’s a place for students at all levels in the Research Park, including graduate students: 26% of students working here are grad students.
• Do companies in the Research Park hire international students?
Many companies in the Research Park hire international students. The number of companies that are able to sponsor international students changes frequently and can depend on the position or time of year: as of October 2023, 73% of corporate companies in the Research Park hire international students and 26% of students working in the Research Park are international students. Job descriptions typically state if the position is available to international students.
• What else do international students need to know about working in the Research Park?
International students should work directly with the ISSS office to fully understand their sponsorship needs before applying for a position. This is the student’s responsibility, not the employers.
• Are Research Park internships considered on-campus employment?
Sometimes. There are some Research Park companies that have a contract with campus, meaning their interns are considered on-campus employees and international students do not need sponsorship. The participating companies change frequently and vary from job to job. The Research Park is unable to provide a list of companies that can hire students as on-campus employees.
• What UIUC majors do companies within Research Park hire from?
Research Park companies highly value students with multiple skill sets and talents. Hiring managers are more concerned with students’ experiences, aptitudes, and interest in their company than they are with their specific majors. The most common internships in the Research Park are positions related to software engineering and data science, but there are also positions in business, lab analysis, human resources, graphic design, communications, event planning, and more.
• Where do I find current job and internship postings within the Research Park?
Check the Research Park Job Board frequently for newly posted positions. Positions are posted year-round, based on company needs. The most active times on the Job Board are at the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters.
• How do I make myself a competitive candidate?
Companies that have chosen to locate on-campus in the Research Park are excited to meet and work with students in person! Take advantage of any time that company leaders are on campus. You will often see them in classrooms at campus career fairs, and partnering with student groups. Introduce yourself, learn more about what skills they are looking for, and find out what their company is currently working on. Make sure to attend the Research Park Block Party and the Research Park Career Fair (next held in February 2024). Hiring managers often hire directly from these two recruitment events.
Also, talk to peers who are currently working at a company in the Research Park. Find out how they got hired, and ask for tips and referrals.
Stay updated on all the events hosted at Research Park with our events calendar.
• How is the Research Park Job Board different from Handshake?
The Research Park Job Board only lists positions that are physically located on campus, within the Research Park footprint. Many of these positions are not available on Handshake.
• I looked on the Research Park Job Board, and there are no positions relevant to me. What do I do?
We recommend checking the Research Park Job Board around once a week. Positions are posted frequently, and often close quickly. The highest number of positions are posted in early fall (August-October) and winter (January-March).
• What types of events are held in the Research Park?
Tech workshops, networking, recruitment, and social events are regularly held in the Research Park. These events are wonderful opportunities to meet people who work and hire in the Research Park community, and all are invited to attend. Check out the calendar for upcoming events. Note that pre-registration is often required. Visit our Media Gallery to view photos from past events.
• Does the Research Park have a career fair?
Research Park hosts an annual career fair during the spring semester. The 2024 Research Park Career Fair will be held on February 26 at the Illinois Conference Center (connected to the I Hotel). The Research Park Block Party takes place annually in the fall and is a less formal outdoor recruitment event. It’s coming up on August 31, 2023.
• When do internships become available?
Research Park companies hire interns year-round. Every company is on its own hiring timeline, which can change from year to year as business needs change. We recommend checking the Research Park Job Board frequently for the most updated positions and applying quickly to positions of interest. The highest volume of intern positions are posted in early fall (August/September) and early winter (December/January).
• Are there full-time positions in the Research Park?
Full-time positions are available, and the Research Park Job Board can be filtered to only list full-time opportunities. However, the highest volume of open positions in the Research Park are internships. Many companies convert top interns into full-time employees, so the best way to get a full-time position for a Research Park company is often to get an internship first.
• Are remote or hybrid internships available?
Companies in the Research Park highly value the in-person experience and are interested in connecting with and mentoring Illinois students face-to-face. Remote or hybrid internships are still available, but most opportunities require some in-person work. Hybrid internships are more common during the academic year (Fall and Spring semesters). Most summer internships in the Research Park are fully in-person.
• How do I stay updated on what is going on in the Research Park?
Sign up for one of our newsletters on the Connect page. The best newsletters for students to follow are the Research Park General Information and Announcements Newsletter, the Research Park Student Newsletter, and the Research Park Summer Intern Newsletter.
• Are there tours of the Research Park?
• Are internships within the Research Park paid?
All internships and jobs in the Research Park are paid positions. Nobody should work for free!