Weapon Systems Engineers and Scientists

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
Wiltshire, UK
Closing date
4 Dec 2022

Job Details


Dstl Portsdown West Fareham, PO17 6AD and Dstl Porton Down Salisbury, SP4 0JQ

About the job

Job summary

At Dstl we protect lives. We take innovative Science and Technology (S&T) and use it to keep the country safe.

Do you have a background in science and engineering? If so, Dstl’s Weapons Systems Group is looking for passionate individuals to fill a range of roles which include: Air Defence Analyst/Engineers, Guidance and Control Specialists, Land Guided Weapons Engineers, Radio Frequency Seeker Engineers, Senior Aerodynamics/Propulsion Engineers and Weapon Systems Engineers.

Please find the descriptions of the roles currently vacant in the attachment at the end of this page.

We are looking for individuals with strong technical and analytical skills and leadership ability to help us develop innovative solutions. Working closely with our military customers and industry partners there are many opportunities for travel, trials and for staff secondments to industry and other Ministry of Defence (MoD) organisations. We recognise the outstanding skills and aspirations of our people and are able to present them with an unparalleled range of opportunities to develop both the UK’s military capabilities as well as their own.

Dstl’s Weapons Systems Group helps MoD by assessing, understanding and demonstrating new technologies and how systems can be integrated across environments (domains). We strive to create common, modular and re-usable technologies and systems. Our work includes guidance, navigation, control, novel and laser effects, human integration, networking and hypersonics. We also link with other technology and information programmes.

If you are interested in applying for any of our roles, please apply through Civil Service jobs with your CV stating clearly which role(s) you are applying for. You will be expected to use the relevant job description set out in the attachment at the end of this page to explain how your skills and experience meet the requirement for the role.

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

In these roles you will

  • Use your technical knowledge and skills to provide our customers with evidence-based advice and non-biased assessment of technology;
  • Use your creativity and analytical skills to generate solutions to customer needs. You will anticipate and enthusiastically address challenges;
  • Use your customer liaison skills to build strong working relationships with DE&S, end users (Armed Forces) and industry to ensure that requirements, specifications and delivered solutions are fit for purpose;
  • Assist your colleagues with their development, share skills, knowledge and understanding across your team to build our capability;
  • You may find yourself involved with setting requirements for work to be delivered by our industry partners, and working alongside them to ensure successful delivery.

At higher levels:

  • You will lead and empower a team of Dstl scientists and engineers;
  • You will be responsible for setting project technical direction, monitoring progress and mentoring project team members on technical issues where appropriate. You may look across projects to ensure a coherent approach is followed;
  • You will help to assure the quality of work through appropriate application of standards, procedures and checks;
  • You will take a leading role in customer engagement, understanding and deciding how to respond to their requirements;
  • You have a good understanding of industry and their working practices, including partnering with industrial suppliers;
  • You will work closely with Dstl Project Managers to deliver to time cost and quality. You may also set technical objectives, manage project technical risks and to help identify levels of resource support required. You will support your local management in the maintenance and development of technical capability within the division.

Person specification

We are looking for people who have:

The passion and motivation to deliver pioneering, innovative capabilities into the hands of our front-line personnel. We want people who can employ a combination of deep technical knowledge along with good communication skills to work closely with the team and our customers, be they civilian or military.

If you have previous experience, we will look to you to drive innovation and delivery, and lead and develop those around you.

Essential Technical Skills

We expect you to hold a degree or have equivalent proven experience in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.


We are looking for people with knowledge of:

  • Computational modelling;
  • Analysis;
  • Targeting;
  • Weapon systems;
  • Defence.

Essential Skills

You will have highly developed communication skills, with the ability to adjust your style to the needs of different audiences.

You will be accomplished and passionate about building positive relationships with colleagues, customers and partners in other organisations.

Essential Experience

You have worked on complex and non-routine problems, drawing together disparate information and making meaningful technical assessments, ideally in an engineering environment.

At the higher levels:

  • You have provided professional advice in complex situations where there are no easy answers;
  • You have lead project technical and safety aspects, and assured the standard of work;
  • You have developed requirements for technical solutions which meet customer needs;
  • You have assessed technologies against requirements.


Opportunities to explore Chartership will be available to all candidates.

It would be beneficial if applicants were working towards or already hold Chartership and Membership of a relevant professional body, such as the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), or the Institute of Mechanical Engineering (IMechE).

A successful candidate will:

  • Form and influence a network of technical specialists to support and advise them on the delivery of fit for purpose engineering solutions;
  • Engage closely with UK PLC engineering and science capabilities to form a cadre of industry partners who can support Dstl in answering some of our most pressing questions;
  • Understand the emerging technology picture, realise the threats and opportunities that it represents, and provide impartial advice to the end user on effective exploitation;
  • Communicate the potential benefits and the impacts on capability of these options to our Military Customers.

At Dstl, our vision is to have a modern way of working efficiently, accommodating and enabling our people to create, collaborate and deliver innovative science and technology with our partners, working in a way they need to wherever they need to. This role is largely office based, but will involve travel to customer sites (e.g. Air Command) and also sites belonging to technology suppliers. Such sites may be outside of the UK!

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.


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

  • Working Together;
  • Developing Self and Others;
  • Leadership;
  • Communicating and Influencing;
  • Technical skills.

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

Please state which role you are applying for, these are listed below, the criteria for these roles can be found in the document attached to the Job advert. Using the criteria for your preferred role, please explain how your skills and experience meet t

Please provide an example of a relevant technical challenge you have overcome and describe how you approached solving it.


Dstl’s full range of great benefits can be found in the information pack which includes:

Financial: An excellent pension scheme starting from 26% employer contribution (find out more here). In Year Rewarding Achievement bonuses and thank you vouchers. Rental deposit scheme and cycle to work scheme.

Flexible working: Full flexibility working options include alternative working patterns, compressed hours, job shares and annualised hours. Remote working may be available dependent on role.

Flexible working hours: Ability to bank hours in a 12 month reference period including the ability to accrue and use 3 days per calendar month.

Annual leave: 25 days pro rata (rising to 30 after 5 years) plus 8 public holidays with the ability to buy/sell 5 additional days per annum.

Family: Maternity, adoption or shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks with full pay, an additional 13 weeks statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid

Learning and Development: Dstl encourages and supports charterships, accreditations and provides employees access to fully funded apprenticeships up to level 7 (Masters Degree). Dstl will pay for 2 memberships with relevant bodies/institutions. Employees also have access to Civil Service Learning.

Facilities: Onsite parking, EV Charging points, restaurants, cafés and gyms.

The information pack can be found attached to the job specification on Civil Service Jobs. 

Our Diversity Networks

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.

Things you need to know

Selection process details

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

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 dstlrecruitment@dstl.gov.uk and we will do all we can to support you.

Applicants invited to interview will undergo a combined Technical and behaviour based interview which will assess their experiences and behaviours relating to the requirements detailed in the attached job profile.

Interviews will take place during November and December.

Interviews are likely to be held via video link and full details will be sent to you should you be invited to an interview.

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


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 security check.

See our vetting charter.

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

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 HR Recruitment

Email: Dstlrecruitment@dstl.gov.uk

Recruitment team:

Email: dstlrecruitment@dstl.gov.uk

Further information

Should you wish to raise a formal complaint about the Dstl recruitment process you should email dstlrecruitment@dstl.gov.uk 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 www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk

Closing date
All year round

Tel +44 (0)1980 618484
E-mail dstlrecruitment@dstl.gov.uk

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

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