Working for Dstl

Dstl employs some of the world's brightest people. We're always on the lookout for talented, creative, dedicated and innovative individuals to join us.

Current opportunities

All our vacancies are advertised on Civil Service jobs.

Join our team

At Dstl, you’ll be a part of UK defence and security, helping to protect our nation.

We employ a broad range of talented people, from specialist scientists and engineers, to analysts, programme and project managers, and finance, logistics, medical and communications personnel.

You’ll get:

  • excitement and challenge – help push the boundaries of cutting-edge science and technology, working on complex and sometimes sensitive projects
  • satisfaction from making a difference – see the real-world impact of our research as it’s put into action by the MOD and wider government
  • flexibility and opportunity – experience the benefits of working in the public sector while working alongside the best minds from industry, academia and internationally

Diversity and inclusion

Dstl is a place where everyone can thrive, succeed and achieve their ambitions, regardless of background, different circumstances, experiences, or characteristics.

Dstl is recruiting

The benefits of working for us

As well as a rewarding career in defence science and technology, Dstl offers its staff (including graduates, industrial placement students, summer students and apprentices) a wide range of benefits and training opportunities in a supportive, encouraging and flexible environment.

Working flexibly

The flexible working scheme allows staff to arrange their working day to suit their lifestyle and circumstances. Dstl is strongly encouraging blended and flexible working, including working from a site, working from home or a mixture of both. We want our employees to work from the most appropriate location for you. You may still be required to travel to your home site, other Dstl site and MOD sites when necessary.

Dstl can also consider alternative working patterns, including:

  • part-time work
  • job share
  • work annualised hours (an agreed number of hours per year but paid in equal monthly installments; for example, term-time only)
  • work compressed hours (for example, working 37 hours over 4 days or a 9 day fortnight)

As part of our flexible working arrangements, staff are able to fit their working hours around their home lives and other commitments through:

  • flexible start and finish times (so, for example, you can walk the dog or pick up the kids from school)
  • ability to bank hours in a 12 month period (you can accrue and use 3 days of flexi time per calendar month)

Our flexible working arrangements can be affected by the nature of the role, so please ask about the options at interview.

Rewarding innovation and achievement

We have multiple schemes for rewarding achievement, including cash bonuses and vouchers for outstanding work. Our inventive employees are rewarded for coming up with ideas that can be patented or commercially exploited, through our Rewards to Inventors scheme and regular opportunities to be nominated for awards.

Annual leave

All employees are entitled to 25 days’ leave (pro rata) when they start; this increases to 30 days after 5 years.

In addition to this our people are entitled to 8 bank holidays and you can buy or sell up to 5 additional days each year.

Occupational health and sick pay

All staff are entitled to up to 10 months’ paid sick leave (5 months at full pay and 5 months at half pay). Staff also have access to occupational health advisers who are able to provide a confidential advice service on health concerns in the workplace.

We value our employees’ health so we also operate an employee assistance programme providing support and advice. The HELP Employee Assistance Programme (HELP EAP) offers you confidential, independent and unbiased information and guidance on a range of emotional, health and social subject areas; support is for both work related and personal matters. Support is available 24 hours, 365 day a year.

Pension scheme

Employees have the opportunity to choose between 2 pension schemes when they join Dstl:

  • alpha (with generous employer contribution rates starting at 26%)
  • the partnership pension account

For full details of the schemes, visit the Civil Service pensions website.

Supporting family life

Employees have access to:

  • maternity leave - up to 52 weeks’ leave (paid and unpaid)
  • shared parental leave - up to 50 weeks’ leave (paid and unpaid)
  • paternity leave - 2 weeks’ leave
  • adoption leave - up to 52 weeks’ adoption leave (paid and unpaid)
  • a number of support networks including a Parents and Carers network
  • flexible working (such as the ability to bank hours; up to 3 days can be taken in any calendar month)

Facilities for employees

Our main sites have a variety of on-site facilities for staff, including:

  • free parking
  • dedicated car-sharing spaces and a comprehensive car-sharing scheme
  • electric vehicle charging points
  • fully equipped gymnasiums that offer low-cost membership options
  • hot and cold meals and light refreshments on site

Travel to work and other discounts

We offer the following benefits:

  • season ticket loans
  • cycle-to-work scheme - to save on the cost of a new bicycle or cycling equipment
  • discounted rates for civil service societies and healthcare
  • access to discounts available to Ministry of Defence employees

Training and development opportunities

Our employees are strongly encouraged to manage their own career progression. This is supported through a number of opportunities, including:

  • up to 2 paid professional subscriptions each year
  • chartership scheme - supported by mentors from across the business
  • fellowship scheme - recognising employees who make an outstanding and creative contribution
  • internal employee support networks - providing further advice and support
  • secondment opportunities - with industry and academic partners in the UK and abroad, helping employees to develop skills, knowledge and experience
  • career level reviews - helping employees to progress through the organisation
  • networking events - learning about other areas of the business
  • mentoring circles

Graduates, students and apprenticeships

We recruit around 120 graduates and offer around 150 student-placement opportunities every year from a wide-range of scientific, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines and backgrounds.

We also recruit new apprentices each year, mixing formal classroom-based study alongside practical hands-on training in our workshop, laboratory and office facilities.

You’ll have opportunities to learn and develop in a hands-on and supportive environment from some of the top experts in their fields.

Security clearance requirements

While each role will have its own individual qualification and technical requirements, there are some standard requirements all our candidates need. Because of the nature of our work, all our successful candidates will need to be security cleared before working for us. To gain the high level of security clearance needed you must:

  • be a UK national. Our work in defence, security and intelligence requires our employees to be British citizens. If you are an international or dual-nationality candidate, please consider applying to our government, security or defence partners.
  • have resided in the UK for the past 5 years. For some roles Developed Vetting will also be required, and for these you should have resided in the UK for the past 10 years.

To understand more about reserved posts and what this means, read section 3 of the Civil Service Nationality Rules.

Contact us

If you would like more information about any of the opportunities available or the application process please email

We are Dstl