Deputy Director, National Security Science and Research

This is an exciting, science-based leadership role within the Transport Security, Resilience and Response Directorate in the Department for Transport. The role would suit someone who thrives on analytical rigour, innovation, strategic thinking, and is able to grasp and challenge complex technical issues rapidly, both in the context of national security but also wider transport and national interests.

The successful candidate will lead an ambitious agenda for national security science and technology delivery for transport, understanding how to enable innovative delivery in what is an uncertain fiscal future. They will establish and maintain credible relationships with counterparts across government and internationally, representing DfT’s strategic interests for National Security science and technology. Building a strong leadership team and actively developing talent and professional skills within the team will be key to success in the role.

Job description

Key Responsibilities

• Lead the division of 30+ staffs across national security science & research, including permanent staff, a DfT-Home Office joint unit and secondees, to deliver effectively across the unit and driving our recent transport security and resilience S&T strategy.

• Have oversight of and be accountable for research budgets for national security (currently £13.5M) and lead delivery of an increased ambition for innovation across all transport security modes.

• Leading national security science & research across DfT, ensuring it is aligned with strategic priorities for S&T in transpor security, CONTEST and relevant government strategies, and that DfT is able to access high-quality, robust scientific advice.

• Lead a community across DfT to ensure all national security science & research is prioritised effectively against key risks and robust mechanisms are in place to enable delivery.

• Lead DfT engagement in cross-government National Security S&T and innovation strategic planning, ensuring the department is capitalising on opportunities for delivery and collaboration as the landscape evolves.

• Create and sustain systems and a culture which ensures national security S&T in DfT responds to future risks and opportunities as well as current challenges, promoting innovation in ways of working to deliver against DfT needs and to realise efficiencies.

• Represent DfT on national security S&T issues in the UK and internationally, influencing key stakeholders and partners to ensure provision of necessary research and capability to support delivery of DfT security objectives and supporting the Chief Scientific Advisor on all National Security matters. Build and sustain a capability to provide a cross-department prioritised resilience research programme and advice.


It is essential in your supporting statement that you provide evidence and proven examples against each of the selection criteria below as far as you can. These responses will be further developed and discussed with candidates invited for interview.

Essential criteria:
• A degree in a STEM subject or equivalent, with proven experience of applying scientific knowledge to understanding and addressing complex real-world challenges.

• Proven senior leadership skills, with experience of leading STEM and multi-disciplinary teams, enabling innovation in delivery, and leading through change.

• Demonstrable experience of building strong relationship with stakeholders across government, externally and internationally to deliver in collaboration

• Excellent communication skills both verbal and written, with proven experience of communicating complex technical issues to Ministers and senior officials to inform decision-making.

• Strong analytical skills, with a proven ability to challenge effectively and drive high quality output from across a broad range of technical areas

• The ability to plan strategically, adapting delivery to account for future technology opportunities and threats, and to inspire others to engage with the future vision.

• The ability to understand and manage complex issues at pace, while supporting those around you and assuring quality of outputs.

Please see attached Candidate Information pack for further details.


A degree in a STEM subject or equivalent, with proven experience of applying scientific knowledge to understanding and addressing complex real-world challenges.