ACES research and education centers provide vital testing grounds where research generates the discoveries and technologies to feed and fuel society. 

We know that collaboration is crucial to solving problems. That's why we work with like-minded partners to operate state-of-the-art facilities, share research, and deliver technology to society. Our centers and affiliated locations help us accelerate the improvement of daily life for people everywhere.

Research and Education Facilities

Child Development Lab (CDL)

As a university-based laboratory school with its home in HDFS, the Child Development Laboratory (CDL), directed by Dr. Brent McBride, is charged to provide high-quality care to the 160 enrolled children and their families, while at the same time supporting teaching, research and outreach activities of faculty, staff, and students on the UIUC campus.

View the CDL website

Dixon Springs Agricultural Center (DSAC)

Located in the southern part of the state near Simpson, Illinois. The station operates on approximately 580 acres of university-owned property, and about 4,200 acres under special use permit with the U.S. Forest Service.

Read more about DSAC

Dudley Smith Initiative (DSI)

The Dudley Smith Initiative (DSI) supports innovative research and outreach that advances its fundamental goal of invigorating the agricultural system in Illinois.

View the DSI website

The Early Child Development Laboratory

In 2003, a second building, the Early Child Development Laboratory was built for state-of-the-art programming for children from six weeks to three years of age. This building includes specialized research and observational rooms that allow students and faculty to observe children’s growth and development as well as their interactions with caregivers. A specialized room also allows for children to be videotaped for further study.

Feed Technology Center

Expands horizons in technology and scientific discovery in feed ingredient utilization, new processing technologies, and improved efficiency of food production. The facility will deliver 8,000 tons of specialized small-batch research diets per year.

Read more about the Feed Tech Center

Food Science and Human Nutrition Pilot Processing Plant

Serving the needs of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, and others in the university, through a 10,000-square-foot food pilot plant with space for food-grade production and teaching and research activities.

Visit the Pilot Processing Plant website

Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL)

Focuses on the scale-up of basic research in biofuels, chemicals, and other bioproducts through a 12,000-square-foot pilot plant and 3,500-square-foot analytical laboratory.

Learn more on the IBRL website

Maize Genetics Cooperation Stock Center

Operated by the USDA/ARS, this stock center houses the nation's maize collection and serves the research community by collecting, maintaining, and distributing seeds.

Visit the Maize Genetics Co-op website

Morrow Plots 

Offers the oldest agronomic experimental fields in the United States (established in 1876 and a National Historical Landmark), including the world's longest-term continuous corn plot.

Read more about the Morrow Plots

Orr Center

The Orr Center in Pike County offers research opportunities at the Orr Beef Research Center, the Orr Agricultural Research & Demonstration Center, and the John Wood Community College Agricultural Center.

Learn more about the Orr Center

Plant Care Facility (PCF)

Serves as the primary greenhouse space available to faculty, staff, and students in Crop Sciences, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, and affiliated USDA projects.

View the PCF website

Research Affiliates

ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss

Evaluates, creates, and disseminates economically viable technologies, practices, and systems to reduce post-harvest losses of commodities, including rice, wheat, maize, and oilseed.

Visit the ADM Institute website

Agroecology/Sustainable Agriculture Program

Facilitates and promotes research and education that protects natural and human resources in Illinois while sustaining agricultural production.

Read more about the program

Family Resiliency Center

Advances knowledge and practices that strengthen families’ abilities to meet life’s challenges and thrive.

Learn more about the Family Resiliency Center


A one-stop website for Illinois producers, lenders, and agribusinesses that provides comprehensive risk management information and analysis. "Farm Financial Analyzer" helps users evaluate farm financial performance. "Outlook" offers popular weekly and monthly newsletters on markets and other economic topics.

Visit the Farm Doc website

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant 

Provides up-to-the-minute information on Great Lakes issues, emphasizing concerns in the southern Lake Michigan region. Research and outreach activities address water quality, aquaculture and seafood safety, biological resources, sustainable coastal development, and coastal processes.

Read more about the Sea Grant

Illinois Plant Breeding Center (IPBC)

Educates future generations of plant breeders (i.e., those involved in all areas related to cultivar improvement and seed product development) and provides ongoing support through continuing education.

Learn more about the IPBC

Illinois Natural History Survey Prairie Research Institute

Conducts research on the taxonomy, ecology, and management of insects, plants, and animals. Offers online research databases, research project pages, survey publications, contacts, and history.

Visit the Prairie Research Institute website

Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Conducts research in agriculture, human health, the environment, and energy use, and production.

Read more about the Woese Institute

Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL)

Comprehensively addresses soybean technical knowledge and innovation, providing direct support to researchers, private sector firms, non-governmental organizations, extension specialists, agronomists, technicians, and farmer associations tasked with soybean development

Learn more about the SIL