Principal Adviser – Cyber Systems Programme

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
Wiltshire and Hampshire, UK
Closing date
1 Oct 2022

Job Details

About the job


The Principal Adviser (PrinAd) is a programme delivery role, and one of the technical S&T career roles within Dstl. The role PrinAd should also be suffixed with a recognised specialism comprising two components: The defence and/or security domain component is the context in which their S&T expertise is employed. The science component comprises the scientific, engineering, or analytical specialist knowledge, experience, and skills of the PrinAd, in this case Cyber Security and Resilience.

PrinAds provide authoritative expert Science and Technology (S&T) advice within their subject area, ensuring that S&T knowledge from current and past research is accessible and exploited. They understand both the S&T capability and the Defence and Security capability that they support, and cultivate wide networks within the S&T community in order to share knowledge for the benefit of all stakeholders.

This advice supports delivery of programmes, and may also be expected to support DST functions and S&T users in external organisations with capability planning and delivery, through the exploitation of S&T research and advice. It shapes research programmes, and informs the development of underpinning S&T capabilities.

Where appropriate a PrinAd should be appointed to all programmes that have determined the requirement for the specific role, and provide advice where it is within the scope of the programme(s) and authorisation of the Programme Manager(s) (PgM(s)).

Dstl recognises the importance of diversity and inclusion as people from diverse backgrounds bring fresh ideas. We are committed to building an inclusive working environment in which each employee fulfils their potential and maximises their contribution.

We particularly welcome female and ethnic minority applicants and those from the LGBTQI community, as they are under-represented within Dstl at these levels.

Job description

The Cyber Systems PrinAd(s) are expected to look at all Cyber S&T options with impartiality and not just to push the capabilities of their own Group.

PrinAds are accountable for the delivery of assured technical S&T advice. They are not to make decisions on requirements or commissioning, and are to provide impartial technical S&T support.

The PrinAd role is highly contextual and elements will vary depending on the deployment of other S&T staff in the enterprise, e.g. SGW, and the complexities of the programme(s) and S&T user(s) environment.

Specific role responsibilities are likely to include a mix of the following elements: S&T Capability and Delivery (core role) – tasked by PgM(s) and funded by the tasking programme(s).

For more information on the role, please read the Job Profile attached below.


Technical / Professional Knowledge and Skills - essential:

  • Recognised SQEP expert in Cyber Security and Resilience S&T in UK Defence;
  • Ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of stakeholders, including up to senior levels within the MOD and Government;
  • Knowledge of the specific Dstl Customer(s) environments, including deep understanding of the Military specific capability environment(s) and DLoDs to define how and where S&T can contribute;
  • The Defence and Security context.


  • Experience of working in the S&T user environment;
  • Experience of working in the external S&T supply base;
  • Experience of delivery Cyber Security S&T.

Important Information

Our work in defence, security and intelligence requires our employees to be UK Nationals who are able to gain a high level of security clearance to undertake the projects we are involved in to protect us from security threats. For this reason, only UK Nationals will be able to apply for this role. If you are an international or dual-national candidate, and you think you have the skills we need, please consider applying to any of our government, security or defence partners.

This role will require full UK security clearance and you should have resided in the UK for the past 5 years. For some roles Developed Vetting will also be required, in this case you should have resided in the UK for the past 10 years.

Work location

Dstl is strongly encouraging blended and flexible working either at one of our sites or from home or both. We want to empower you to undertake your duties at the most appropriate location for the task, however you will be allocated a Dstl site as a base. You may be required to travel to other Dstl and MoD sites as required.


We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Seeing the Big Picture;
  • Working Together;
  • Managing a Quality Service;
  • Communicating and Influencing;
  • Making Effective Decisions;
  • Delivering at Pace.


We’ll provide a great range of benefits including;

  • Fully flexible working, including alternative working patterns, annualised hours, compressed hours and job share, to name a few;
  • Flexible Working hours, a 12 month reference period and the ability to bank hours. Up to 37 hours can be taken in any calendar month;
  • Excellent learning and development to ensure everyone fulfils their potential;
  • Maternity, adoption or shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks full pay followed by 13 weeks statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid, and paternity leave of 2 weeks full pay;
  • Chartership and accreditation support;
  • Pension;
  • Generous annual leave, with the ability to buy and sell up to 5 days holiday per year;
  • A competitive salary. Onsite gyms and restaurants.Staff discounts for high street and online shopping, restaurants and days out.

Our Diversity Networks

Dstl recognises the importance of diversity and inclusion as people from diverse backgrounds bring fresh ideas. We are committed to building an inclusive working environment in which each employee fulfils their potential and maximises their contribution. We have a number of support networks to ensure all employees feel supported at work.

These include the following:

  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Network;
  • Race, Faith and Culture Network;
  • Parents and Carer Support Network;
  • Alternative Working Network;
  • Gender Equality Network;
  • New Starters Network;
  • Enabled Network, for people with visible and non-visible disabilities.

For further information about Dstl please check out our LinkedIn page.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is developed vetting.

See our vetting charter.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours and Experience.

Sift will take place shortly after the role has closed with successful applicants being invited to attend an online or face to face interview.

We want you to have your best chance of success in our recruitment process, so If at any stage of the application process you would like help or assistance please contact the Dstl Recruitment Team and we will do all we can to support you.

We offer a guaranteed interview for all disabled applicants who provide evidence in their application of meeting the minimum essential requirements of the post, set out in the job description. You will be asked to indicate if you are applying under this scheme when you submit your application.

Dstl is participating the Great Place to Work for Veterans Scheme. If you are a Veteran and meet the essential criteria for this position you will be offered guaranteed progression to the next stage of the assessment. You will be asked to indicate if you are applying under this scheme when you submit your application.

We actively encourage and welcome applications from those who work alternative working patterns (part-time, job share, term-time only etc.), Please be prepared to discuss this if you are selected for interview. You can also discuss your working pattern with the recruiting line manager or talent acquisition adviser at the application stage if preferred.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK nationals only.

This job is not open to candidates who hold a dual nationality.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.

Apply and further information

This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative.

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact:

Name: Dstl Recruitment


Recruitment team


Further information

Should you wish to raise a formal complaint about the Dstl recruitment process you should email stating the nature of the issue. We will respond within 5 working days.


DSTL profile imageDstl is the science and technology arm of the Ministry of Defence. As part of the UK Government we do sensitive and specialist work that cannot be done anywhere else! We keep the UK safe and secure by using world-leading science and technology. We’re a world leader in our field with one aim – protecting lives. We have experts making huge scientific advancements, so our work has real value and we’re all extremely dedicated because we keep the country safe and secure.

Why work for us
At Dstl, we harness science and technology to protect our nation – bringing together the best people with the best ideas, and applying them in unexpected ways. Our unique position within defence brings strong links to the armed forces, giving us access and insight to our military personnel and their operational challenges. The solutions we deliver cover everything from long-term research and analysis through to rapid development in support of current operations with the potential to save lives. Working with other government departments, universities and businesses, we develop battle-winning technologies that support UK military operations – now and into the future.

At Dstl, you’ll find a workforce of respected scientists and professionals who specialize in many different science, technology and related disciplines. Our team collaborates on research and projects with some of the most talented professionals and academics in the world.

We aim to develop all of our people to enable them to make a full contribution to meeting our strategic objectives, and to fulfil their own potential on merit. We promote and support the use of a range of flexible working patterns to enable staff to enjoy a healthy work/life balance.

Training and development
We offer an extensive range of technical and professional training that’s relevant for your career and your future ambitions, delivered both in-house and externally. We’ll support you with chartership and accreditation, and fund up to two professional memberships for you each year.

What we are looking for
We’re always looking for the best technical and scientific minds, who are looking for a career with a difference, to join us in a range of roles, at all levels across Dstl. You’ll need a relevant qualification in your field and a flair for solving problems and a passion for new technologies. But above all, you must want to make a difference now and in the future. Your work here will make a valuable contribution to addressing the ever-changing challenges faced by the UK Armed Forces, Ministry of Defence and the UK government.

We have a variety of roles that we advertise on our website all year round as well as graduate and apprenticeship opportunities.

UK: Newcastle, Porton Down, Portsdown West

Number of employees

Positions recently recruited for
Electronic engineers, data scientists, energetics engineers, underwater C4I expert, radar scientist, commercial manager, operational analysts

Desired degree disciplines/class
A STEM degree

Eligible to work in the UK

How to apply
Apply online at

Closing date
All year round

Tel +44 (0)1980 618484

Find Us
+44 (0)1980 618484
Room G01 Building
5 Porton Down
United Kingdom

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