Principal Statistical Data Scientist

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
Salisbury, UK
Closing date
11 Dec 2022

Job Details

Job summary

We are the science inside UK Defence and Security.

Since we were formed in 2001, our talented scientists and technologists have built an enviable reputation for innovating world class science and technology. We are able to deploy our inside knowledge and understanding of government to interpret and connect requirements and stakeholders. We bring together lots of different people and a huge range of disciplines in science and technology. We have lots of variety in our projects, roles and opportunities, making every day a day to explore and get excited.

The Chemical, Biological and Radiological Division (CBR) of Dstl provides an integrated Chemistry, Biology, Radiation and Medical Sciences capability, delivering long term research, short term advice and consultancy, and an emergency response capability in support of UK Defence and Security.

As a statistical data scientist you will work on a dynamic range of projects developing and using novel techniques and will undertake ground-breaking research and experimentation at the forefront of science. If you have the desire to apply your technical understanding of statistical and data science techniques to solve problems we want to hear from you.

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

As a capability, we develop and use novel analytical methodologies and techniques and undertake exciting research and experimentation at the forefront of defence and security research.

As a statistical data scientist you will have the opportunity to work and lead a range of statistically focused data science projects, helping to increase the use of machine learning, artificial intelligence and increase the data science capability across the division.

We are looking for people to help develop an in silico capability leveraging emerging Digital Twin technology, advances in modular multi-fidelity modelling and AI powered uncertainty quantification to support and provide advice for even the most complex problems. Also you will be able to provide advice and carry out analysis for complex statistical research and help to develop tools for analysis, exploration and visualisation of CBR data.

A Principal statistical data scientist is a key member of the capability setting technical direction of work, mentoring and development of staff across the team and wider lab, providing information to customers and working with our academic and industry partners.

Person specification

We’re looking for someone with:

  • A natural curiosity and independent drive to research, experiment and understand;
  • Enthusiasm and experience in applying statistical models, machine learning and data science techniques to complex problems;
  • Leadership and collaboration experience.



  • A degree in a relevant subject area, or commensurate experience.


  • A Masters degree or PhD in a relevant area.



  • Experience in techniques such as Bayesian inference, mixed effects modelling, machine learning or bioinformatics;
  • Data science research and development using R, Python, Java and/or other relevant languages;
  • Experience in experimental design including computer experiments;
  • Experience in visualisation and explanation of uncertainty;
  • Interest in development and application of novel statistical applications;
  • Experience in technical leadership in studies or projects, people management or consulting.


  • Handling, curating, manipulating and analysing complex, high volume and high dimensionality data;
  • Experience in data management and databases;
  • Knowledge in version control (i.e. Git).


An active membership or fellowship of a relevant professional body is desirable.

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.


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

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

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

  • Please explain what would you bring to this particular role, focusing on your skills and experience relevant in statistical modelling;
  • Please detail your knowledge of data science tools and techniques with your experience of their application.


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;
  • The sift will be completed by 16th December with interviews taking place in early January 2023.

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.

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 Recruitment Team


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

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalised job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert