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Underwater Scientist

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)
DSTL Portsdown West, Fareham, Hampshire, PO17 6AD
£40,514 - £47,007
Closing date
7 Dec 2022

Job Details

Job summary

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is the science, technology and engineering arm of the UK’s Ministry of Defence.

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. Because we provide the UK government with specialist science and technology research, advice and analysis, what we do is often sensitive, classified and internationally collaborative. Much of our work is operationally critical and has the potential to save many lives.

The DSTL Platform Systems Division Underwater Group requires an underwater scientist to support underwater weapons and defensive aids projects and capabilities through the application of systems thinking and state-of-the-art data analysis methods, tools, and techniques. As part of a wider MOD-led enterprise working alongside other scientific and engineering specialists the successful candidate will support and develop, at pace, cost-effective solutions directly contributing to high impact delivery for UK MOD and other government department’s customers.

Job description

In this role you will :

  • Quantitatively assess UK capability across the underwater weapon and defensive aids system domains;
  • Elicit and understand the evolving requirements for underwater weapons and defensive aids systems;
  • Work with MOD, Industry, and Academia to develop S&T solutions and concepts to;
    • Maintain UK underwater weapon and defensive aids capability,
    • Develop new systems, sub-systems, and concepts to enhance UK capabilities. 
  • Produce technical papers, reports, and presentations in accordance with DSTL technical and software quality processes, procedures, and standards;
  • Support and lead the formulation of requirements for the development, analysis, and testing of new underwater weapons and defensive aids systems. Present requirements, findings, and proposals to internal and external customers and stakeholders.

Person specification

You'll need:

 Essential Qualifications

Bachelor degree in either Physics, Systems/Software Engineering, Mechanical or Electrical Engineering, or Mathematics.


Postgraduate degree in either Software/Systems Engineering, Computer Science, or Physics/Acoustics.

Essential Experience and Skills

  • Modelling and simulation to support and develop underwater weapon and defensive aids concepts,
  • Analysis of trials and experimentation data to support and develop underwater weapon and defensive aids concepts.
  • Subsystem and algorithm development.
  • Experience of working as part of a team as well as unsupervised, delivering at pace on high impact technical projects to customer and stakeholder satisfaction.
  • Working with customers and stakeholders to formulate appropriate project requirements, including deliverable reports and presentations, and conducting high quality systems and software development and testing dealing with emergent risks and challenging timescales.
  • Working and delivering at pace on high impact technical projects.

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:

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Leadership

Technical skills

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

  • Modelling and simulation
  • what experiences do you have of systems thinking and state-of-the-art data analysis methods, tools, and techniques.



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. In Year Rewarding Achievement bonuses and thank you vouchers. Rental deposit scheme and cycle to work scheme. 

  • Flexible working: Working options include alternative working patterns, compressed hours, job shares and annualised hours

  • 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: A generous annual leave allowance starting at 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: Encouragement and support on charterships, accreditations and access to fully funded apprenticeships up to level 7 (Masters Degree). Paid memberships with 2 relevant bodies/institutions. Employees 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. 


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.


About us

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is the science inside UK defence and security. A proven national asset, Dstl is an executive agency of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) providing world class expertise and delivering cutting-edge science and technology for the benefit of the nation and allies.

Who we are

Dstl is one of the principal government organisations dedicated to science and technology in the defence and security field.

Dstl supplies specialist services to MOD and wider government, working collaboratively with external partners in industry and academia worldwide, providing expert research, specialist advice and invaluable operational support.

We are innovative, collaborative and impactful.

Our responsibilities

Our responsibilities include:

  • supplying sensitive and specialist science and technology services for MOD and wider government
  • providing and facilitating expert advice, analysis and assurance on defence procurement
  • leading on the MOD’s science and technology programme
  • understanding risks and opportunities through horizon-scanning
  • acting as a trusted interface between MOD, wider government, the private sector and academia to provide science and technology support to military operations by the UK and her allies
  • championing and developing science and technology skills across MOD

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