Aerosol Scientist

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

Apply before 11:55 pm on Tuesday 28th June 2022



Reference number



£22,010 - £29,228


Higher Executive Officer
Dstl Level 4

Contract type


Business area

DSTL - Chemical, Biological & Radiological Division

Type of role


Working pattern

Full-time, Part-time, Compressed Hours

Number of posts



Porton, South West (region), SP4 0JQ


Join Dstl (the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) and help deliver high-impact advice and products that support the UK's defence, security and prosperity.

We need dedicated people like you, who can use their skills to innovate and develop technologies that give our country the winning-edge. We work in niche areas that are operationally critical to our country and our international allies. Our work therefore has to be done within government. We need a practically minded, highly motivated colleague with an interest in technical problem solving, who can work innovatively between our multidisciplinary aerosol science and aerobiology capabilities.

Within our aerosol science capability, you will be part of a dynamic, world-renowned team of scientific and technical specialists. The work undertaken by the team in this area ranges from fundamental research and prototyping of equipment, through to planning and conducting field trials of complex sensors and systems. From the beginning, the candidate will be at the centre of the team's ongoing activities. This work enables us to advise decisions taken at the highest levels of government on equipment procurement and policy.

You'll also contribute to the work of our aerobiology capability. We investigate the threat posed by aerosolised high consequence pathogens in our high containment facility. Following training, you will assist in our efforts to assess the hazard posed by these materials. These studies support national policy on the management of these materials as well as the development of enhanced medical treatments for the UK Armed Forces and its allies.

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

In this role you will:
• Provide an outstanding innovative technical contribution to fundamental and applied research projects that are pioneering the interface between raw science and practical testing of theory. With a background understanding in engineering or a physical science, you will be confident in suggesting methods for data capture and will develop the skills to lead the execution of this work.
• You will also find opportunities to maximise the impact of Science and Technology, across the Defence & Security environment and Other Government Departments (OGDs) by applying your skills.

You will:
• Apply logical thinking and problem solving to enable the design and testing of innovative technologies to meet our customers’ needs.
• Be able to convert academic theory into practical solutions to address the challenges posed to the team. This will include hands-on demonstration of your practical technical skills.
• Exercise judgement to reach robust evidence-based conclusions and decisions supported by analysis.
• Progress your work independently, discussing options with colleagues to identify the optimal solution and ensuring it is delivered in a timely and efficient manner.
• Work optimally and flexibly in our team with diverse technical backgrounds to meet project requirements.
• Be confident and clear in presenting your ideas and work to a variety of technical and non-technical audiences.
• Be eager to develop your knowledge and techniques and contribute new insights and opportunities to our research.
• Have a willingness to support in-vivo studies.


Working flexibly across both areas within the team, your skills will be orientated around the following:

• Creative approach to solving practical problems within the research and development area
• Willing to embrace the challenge of working within two related subject areas.
• A teammate who works well with others.
• Someone who is keen to develop their personal and professional skills through training and mentorship.
• Someone who wishes to expand networks including developing international collaboration.
• Someone with a sense of public service, keen for their work to support the defence and security of the UK and its interests.

Technical Skills

You will have a strong grounding in the principles of engineering and the physico-chemical properties and behaviour of aerosols in general, alongside an aim to expand your expertise to include biological materials. Practical experience and use of aerosols (wet and dry) will be advantageous for the candidate.

Essential Skills
• Enquiring mind and able to undertake self-led learning
• Excellent numeracy and communication skills.
• Good digital literacy including the use of MS Office software (including use of macros).
• A demonstrable interest in technical problem solving.

Desirable Skills
• Experience of practical work with aerosols, their delivery, characterisation and interaction with their environment.
• Understanding and experience of working with biological aerosols, in high containment facilities, or involvement in in-vivo studies.
• Experience of programming in one or more of the following languages (MATLAB, Python, or R).
• Experience of using instrument control software (e.g. LabView).
• Practical experience of designing and creating prototype hardware.

Essential Experience
You will have
• A background in aerosol science, engineering, physics, or physical chemistry.
• A demonstrable interest in life sciences.
• Experience of successful team working and the ability to develop interdisciplinary networks for collaborative working.
• A proven track record of technical problem solving.

Desirable Experience
• A demonstrable understanding of aerosol science, practical fluid flows, powder technology, engineering or physics, physical chemistry, colloidal science and/or instrumentation.
• Proven practical experience of rapid prototyping or modifying equipment to meet an unmet need.

Dstl is strongly encouraging blended and flexible working either at one of our sites or from home or both. We want to empower you to undertake your duties at the most appropriate location for the task, however you will be allocated a Dstl site as a base. You will need to work on site at times and to travel to other Dstl and MoD sites as required.

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 that will 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.

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.


Minimum: Degree (or equivalent qualification) with a large practical element in a mechanical and/or electrical engineering subject, physics, physical chemistry or aerosol science.
A biological science subject (e.g. biology, microbiology or physiology) at A-Level Grade C or above. (or equivalent)


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

  • Developing Self and Others
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace

We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:

  • Working Together

Technical skills

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

  • Developing practical solutions to unmet needs.
  • Self-led learning
  • Practical application of theory

We only ask for evidence of these technical skills on your application form:

  • Developing practical solutions to unmet needs.
To see all our benefits please go to
our Recruitment page
and check out our LinkedIn page for more information about working with Dstl.


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.


Successful candidates will be expected to have a medical.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.
The application consists of a CV , and questions about your technical skills

Your application will be assessed by the hiring manager matching the evidence you have provided in your CV against the criteria in the vacancy details and the attached job description. Those who score the highest mark will be invited to come to an interview

We want you to have your best chance of success in our recruitment process, so If at any stage you would like help or assistance please contact the Dstl Recruitment Team and we will do all we can to support you.

We offer a guaranteed interview scheme for all disabled applicants who provide evidence in their application of meeting the minimum essential requirements of the post, set out in the job description. You will be asked to indicate if you are applying under this scheme when you submit your application.

The Sift will be completed by 15 July 2022 and will assess your answers to the Technical Skills questions and how your CV matches the requirements for the role as detailed in the attached job description.

Interviews will be held in late July - August 2022 and will consist of a combined technical and behavioural interview assessing your skills and experience in relation to the job description.

We actively encourage and welcome applications from those who work alternative working patterns (part-time, job share, term-time only etc.). Please be prepared to discuss this if you are selected for interview. You can also discuss your working pattern with the recruiting line manager or talent acquisition adviser at the application stage if preferred.

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.

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.
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
  • Email :

Recruitment team :

  • Email :

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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