Cyber & Information Systems Graduate Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

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About the course

Reference number
£21,500 - £26,500
Dependent on degree level, skills and performance at assessment
Higher Executive Officer
Dstl Level 4
Contract type
Business area
DSTL - Cyber & Information Systems Division
Working pattern
Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Compressed Hours
Number of posts
Dstl Porton Down, Salisbury & Dstl Portsdown West, Fareham dependent on skills
About the job
Are you looking for a rewarding career in Science and Technology?
Would you like interesting work, working alongside interesting people, and with access to knowledge available nowhere else with the opportunity for continued self-development?
Do you want to use your knowledge and experience to protect the security and stability of the UK, and partner nations?
If you have a flair for problem solving, a passion for new technologies and you’re looking for a career with a difference, it’s here.
Dstl’s Cyber and Information System Division are looking for graduates from a wide range of disciplines who have a passion for science and technology, and who are looking for more than just a job - a career. Working at Dstl you will have access to high profile, classified information that very few people will ever see. You’ll then use this information to research/develop the science and technology needed to protect the UK, and partner nations, from internal/external threats.
We harness science and technology to protect our nation – bringing together the best people with the best ideas, and applying them in unexpected ways. Because we provide the UK government with specialist science and technology research, advice and analysis, what we do is often sensitive or international in nature. Much is operationally critical and has the potential to save many lives. All of it is incredible.
Together with other brilliant organisations around the country and overseas, we develop battle-winning technologies, and support UK operations now and into the future. Here, you’ll help us establish a world-class cyber & information superiority capability for the UK. It means applying your skills and knowledge to advance the tools, techniques and tradecrafts we use. It’s all about strengthening our ability to operate with and communicate information freely.
The roles could be a mixture of office, lab and trials-based work.
Job description
About the role
This isn’t your stereotypical ‘Graduate’ role – it takes a huge variety of people and skills to achieve our goals. That’s why we need creative and systematic thinkers, who find solutions in novel ways.
You’ll have a passion for all things science and technology, and relish working in a complex, challenging environment. Regardless of whether your role is science or engineering focused, you’ll hit the ground running and work on a range of projects – from directly supporting UK military operations, to protecting our national infrastructure.
For example, you might be tasked with developing machine learning models to quickly analyse vast datasets, design hardware interfaces for sensors, or work with our International Allies to ensure military interoperability. Alternately, you may discover – and protect against - hardware or communication systems vulnerabilities, develop novel sensing technologies or help assure our Armed Forces’ Information or safety critical Systems.
So you’ll often find yourself programming, doing lab-based research, or evaluating new tools and techniques in the field. No two roles at Dstl are the same, but your work at Dstl will make a difference to the UK’s Armed Forces.
We are looking for someone who has:
• STEM related academic knowledge or equivalent experience
• Strong interpersonal skills
• Good problem solving skills
• The ability to work on unbounded problems and apply scientific or engineering knowledge to them
• The desire to keep learning and developing
• The desire to understand how things work and to improve them
• The ability to work independently and in teams
• The ability to work outside of their comfort zone
• Self starting skills
• Integrity
Skills & Experience:
• Research Skills
• Critical/Analytical Thinking
• Creative Problem Solving
• Communication
• Teamworking
• Working with others on complex problems
A degree, advanced professional qualification or equivalent experience in Electronics Engineering, Communications Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Software Engineering, System Engineering, Computer Science, Systems Architecture, Information Technology, Psychology, Science, Cyber Security, Ethical Hacking, Artificial Intelligence, Data Fusion, Signal Processing, Space Engineering or Aeronautical Engineering is required for these posts.
The following are a few examples of the many skills you could learn in one of the graduate roles:
• How to evaluate software intensive systems that ensure the UK’s safety, security and missions
• How to emulate adversarial behaviour and actions to enable to us better defend our cyber assets
• Develop next generation technology that others may say is impossible
• Software Reverse Engineering (e.g. IDA, Ghidra, Wireshark)
• Software Defined Radio/GNUradio
• Coding in languages such as Python, C/C++, VHDL, Matlab.
• Sensing in the Electromagnetic Spectrum (can you find the needle in the haystack?)
• Modelling of Radar, Electo-optic, Quantum and Position, Navigation & timing systems
• Software design/engineering skills
• Quantum Sensor Evaluation
• Impact and Mitigations of Electronic Warfare on Navigation and Timing Systems
• Space Systems Engineering
• Space Science research including Space Situational Awareness and Space Environment
Our roles give you the opportunity to:
• Apply your technical skills and knowledge in lab-based research, practical technology projects, or military systems evaluation;
• Collaborate as part of complementary team to develop and deliver scientific, software or engineering solutions;
• Develop a rounded skill set through challenging and complex responsibilities;
• You can expect to be deployed on a range of projects from supporting UK military operations to protecting national infrastructure.
Security Clearance Required
Our work in defence, security and intelligence requires our employees to be British Citizens who are able to gain a high level of security clearance to understand the work you will undertake to protect us from any security threats. For this reason, we regret that 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 across the enterprise. We work closely with the Defence and Security Industry on many projects, so it would be great to work with you via one of our partners.
Training and Development
You will join our two year Graduate Development Scheme (GDS) which the aim of is to fast track your knowledge/experience and aid the development of peer-to-peer networks, which are essential for sustained capability growth over the course of your career. Our scheme structure consists of the triform, College, Community and Rotation:
You will have access to specific training during the two years on the scheme. The aim of this activity is to increase and tailor your knowledge/experience to suit the skill needs of your Team/Group.
A CIS Graduate community event will be held every three months to help broaden your understanding of Dstl/CIS. First year graduates will be assigned buddies from the second year Graduate community who will pass on experiences and offer peer-to-peer advice. The aim of this activity is to create a coherent Graduate cohort and to promote networking and knowledge sharing.
In your second year you will have the opportunity to undertake a placement, for a minimum of 3 months, to undertake relevant work in a different Dstl Group/Division or in some cases an external organisation. The aim of this activity is to give you wider exposure to specific capability areas and to increase your understanding and effectiveness when working on projects.
Technical skills
We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:
Please state the title of the degree you are studying, list the modules you are taking and any scores have you received.
Please list your top three technical areas of interest or degree modules and include a short explanation of why you enjoy these aspects the most?
What transferable skills can you bring from elsewhere in your work/life/extra-curricular activities which you feel might be relevant for a role at Dstl?
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 20 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 maximizes 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
• 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 security check.
  • 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, Experience and Technical skills.
In your application we'll be looking for information about you, your skills, background and technical experience.
Applications will be reviewed throughout the advertising period focusing on your skills and experiences and how these match the requirements of the job description which is attached.
The next stage will be a formal interview - dates detailed below, which will also take place throughout the advertising period. Due to the current situation this is likely to be via a video link.
For the formal interview you will be asked to prepare a 10 minute informal presentation on a "A Technical Project You Have Undertaken That You Are Proud Of”
Interview Dates
11th November
18th November
25th November
2nd December
9th December
16th December
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.
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.

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