Defence Science and Technology

Defence Science and Technology (DST) works under the direction of MOD’s Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) to maximise the impact of science and technology (S&T) for the defence and security of the UK. DST sets overall direction for S&T, shapes policy to maximise its impact, and sets priorities for international, cross-government and academic engagement and manages the interface with all S&T customers. It also commissions MOD’s core research programme, which is delivered by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), industry and academia.

DST vision:

A Defence Enterprise that maximises the impact of Science and Technology in order to give the UK advantage over our adversaries and counter current and future threats.

What we do

MOD invests 1.2% of the defence budget in its Core Research Programme to develop and sustain cutting edge capabilities for the armed forces, drive innovation and reduce costs. This ensures the best Balance of Investment between strategic research and immediate user requirements, and proactive management of S&T Capability Health.

In addition to commissioning this programme on behalf of the armed forces, DST supports MOD’s CSA in all S&T matters to inform MOD’s wider technology policy, strategy and decision making. Much of our research programme involves international collaboration with our close allies. DST manages these relationships and works to identify new collaboration opportunities.

Our main stakeholders are predominantly the armed forces through the Front Line Commands (FLCs), senior decision makers within MOD HQ, Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) and other government departments with whom we collaborate on wider security issues.

Who we are

We are a team of approximately 180 people based at 13 locations in the UK and a small number of staff in the USA and Australia. We are a mixture of science, policy and commissioning specialists. We are led by Dr Nicholas Joad, Director DST, who reports to the MOD Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Vernon Gibson.

There are 3 teams within DST, each lead by a deputy director:

S&T Policy led by Dr Chris Moore-Bick
The group carries out core Department of State functions and supports the Defence Technology Innovation Board (DTIB), drafts policy and strategy, including around key technology areas such as Chemical and Biological defence, Missile Defence, Cyber and Space, co-ordinates with our partners across Whitehall, and facilitates our international research relationships with allies.

S&T Commissioning led by Mr Jason Field
The group combines our work to agree the overall balance of investment across the Core Research Programme with our work on maintaining oversight and direction on S&T Capability Health, and our day to day interface with Dstl, industry and academia.

Scientific Advice led by Dr Chris Cooper
The group oversees the work of a Scientific Adviser network across the Department; the Defence Scientific Expert Committee and Innovation Research and Insight (IRIS) function.

As an organisation, DST is also supported by a small team of business management staff and a Head of Science Profession team who assists CSA in her duties across MOD. This team is led by the Chief of Staff, who works to the Director DST and is responsible for corporate and cross-cutting matters for the Directorate.

What’s new

  • May 2023, MOD appointed a new interim Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Vernon Gibson.

  • Implementing Technology: led Modernisation and Defence Technology Framework - The Modernising Defence Programme highlighted that the Department needs to be better at turning technology advances into advantage for the armed forces. Investment in science, technology, and innovation is key to changing behaviours within defence to improve working with the UK’s world class industrial and academic base, increasing experimentation, taking risks for greater reward, and driving emerging technology into the hands of the armed forces.

Contact us

By post:

Defence Science and Technology
Ministry of Defence

By email: