Data Scientists

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

Closing date: 26 Nov 2017

Reference number



£24,000 - £52,000


Higher Executive Officer
Senior Executive Officer
Grade 7
Dstl Levels 4 to 6

Contract type


Business area

Research & Development - Cyber and Information Systems & Defence & Security Analysis Divisions

Type of role

Information Technology

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time



Number of posts



Dstl Porton Down, Dstl Portsdown West, RAF Wyton

About the job

Job description

Information is everything. Use it to serve your country and help keep us safe.

Are you a Data Scientist? Are you passionate about applying your expertise to enable cutting edge analysis within the Government's Defence and Security domains?

Dstl are seeking Data Scientists to apply their expertise to real world problems ranging from the collection and analysis of intelligence information, to logistical supply chains, and supporting strategic and operational level decision makers across Government. AI and Machine Learning is a priority technology for Defence and we welcome applications from experts in this field.

You will be working as part of multidisciplinary teams, applying innovative solutions in order to help Dstl answer complex data-led problems. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with Data scientists across government, with industry, academia and internationally. Dstl also access the brightest minds through crowd-sourcing platforms (such as the Dstl Data Science Challenge) and through the open-source software community (Dstl's release of its analytics software, Baleen).

Our Data Scientist opportunities reside within both the Cyber and Information Systems Division and the Defence and Security Analysis Division. Posts are based at our HQ Salisbury (Porton Down), Fareham (Portsdown West) or at RAF Wyton (Cambridgeshire).

We are looking for someone who has:
• A motivation to apply critical thinking and problem solving to a variety of data sets.
• A desire and enthusiasm for undertaking programming.
• The ability to apply statistical thinking.
• Existing experience of quantitative analysis.
• A good understanding of databases.
• Experience of working collaboratively.

Personal Qualities
• Great communication skills
• An inquisitive mind
• Enjoys problem solving
• A focus on delivering innovative results
• Creativity
• Natural systems thinker

Challenges of the roles
• Working across virtual multidisciplinary teams across the organisation and potentially more widely.
• Working individually or collaboratively to tight deadlines.
• Keeping your knowledge and skills current in this rapidly developing field.

We embrace diversity and promote equality of opportunity. We have a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for individuals with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.


Numerical degree with working knowledge of mathematics and statistics e.g. data science, computer science, geospatial science, mathematics, statistics, physics, chemistry, engineering or related technical subject.

A higher degree (MSc or PhD) in a related subject is desirable.

Those with equivalent experience are also actively encouraged to apply.


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

  • Please provide details of your experience of working as a data scientist (software/tools developed, techniques used).
  • Tell us how you’ve worked as part of team effort to use data science to improve outcomes for customers in a fast-changing field.
  • Please detail which area you are applying to. CIS OR DSA OR Both



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.


Dstl provides a great range of benefits including:

• Working with like-minded scientists delivering high quality innovative research in a friendly and supportive environment
• Flexible working
• Chartership and accreditation support
• Pension
• Generous annual leave
• A competitive salary
• Excellent learning and development
• Onsite gyms and restaurants
• A range of staff discounts for high street and online shopping, restaurants and days out

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is developed vetting.

Selection process details

The interview will be face-to-face with technical specialists and team/group leadership. Candidates will be asked to give a 10 minute presentation based around "What can Data Science do for Defence in the next 10 years?"

Candidates will then be asked further questions around softer skills such as (but not limited to) team-working, working under tight schedules, learning and development.
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 equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Contact point for applicants

Sift/interview dates and location

Interviews will take place around the beginning of December at Dstl Porton Down OR Dstl Portsdown West

Further information

Please note that Dstl will be contacting candidates via email and you should check your junk mail folder regularly. Any attachments may not be available via smart phone or tablet views.

If you are applying for this position as a Job Share please indicate if you have a partner who is also applying for this vacancy and if you are successful but they are not if you would still consider the role.

For further information about the roles available within each of the divisions, please see the attached documents.

Share this page