Graduate - Counter Terrorism and Security Division


Dstl Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire. and Dstl Fort Halstead, Sevenoaks, Kent.


About the job


Dstl, by its design, only does work that cannot be conducted outside of government and hence we offer work and opportunities like no other.

The Counter Terrorism and Security (CTS) Division provides innovative science and technology solutions to support counter terrorism and security operations for the Ministry of Defence and other government departments. It is one of Dstl’s 5 operating Divisions and its vision is to provide a safer Britain.

CTS Division works with world-leading industrial, academic and governmental partners within the UK and internationally to provide expertise in a range of niche technical capabilities. The division is focused on homeland and rest of world Counter Terrorism operations, underpinned by a long heritage of providing operational impact by the exploitation of science and technology.

CTS Division is split in to 8 groups, each with a different specialisation. There are roles available in 4 groups and their details are in the Job Dimensions section below. Your role will be in a specific group but there will be opportunities for placements in other groups inside and possibly outside the division.

We are looking for graduates who want to develop their expertise while delivering high-risk, high-reward research to help protect the UK from current and future threats.

Job description

In this role you will:
• Work on a wide variety of projects, no one day is the same. You’ll take technology and push it to its limits, using creativity and innovation to solve real world problems for real world customers. Quite simply, this is work that you cannot do anywhere else.
• Work at the forefront of defence research and innovation which is a dynamic and rapidly evolving environment.
• Work within a complementary team of specialists to deliver scientific, analytical and engineering solutions.
• Collaborate, nationally and internationally, on field trials and in laboratory testing, to acquire, analyse and advise on scientific evidence.
• Develop broad networks across the world with external partners, academic institutes and government departments.
• Drive your career, with great opportunities to gain new skills and qualifications, work with leading experts and ensure your working life is never boring.

We have roles available in the following groups:

Electronic Countermeasures
Specialising in electronic warfare capabilities, we contribute towards military systems development and evaluation, as well as a broad range of ground-breaking research activities.
Within the groups’ technical remit, there are opportunities to contribute to, but not limited to, the following areas:
• General electronics laboratory work and component level testing
• Radio Frequency test and measurement
• Antenna design and development and in-depth signal processing activities
• EMC testing
• Software designed radio and FPGA system development
• Military systems integration and relevant networks and protocols
• Over The Air trials on external sites in the UK and overseas
• Hardware in the Loop and modelling and simulation (e.g. MatLab/ Simulink, CST)

Energetics Analysis
The Energetics Analysis Group has a broad remit delivering three key capabilities:
• Explosives Detection – supports the UK ability to detect, identify and analyse explosives and related materials through analytical chemistry and physics based techniques; animal behavioural science (e.g. scientific support to use of trained detection dogs); and laboratory and trials based assessments
• Forensic Explosives Laboratory – maintains a UKAS accredited facility, developing capability in line with advances in technology and the provision of expertise to the UK Criminal Justice System. The majority of FEL’s capability is centred around analytical chemistry
• UK Defence Exploitation Facility – offers a variety of exploitation disciplines, including chemical analysis and biometric identity intelligence, delivered as an intelligence product to inform both military and government customers.

The Energetics Analysis Group is also the focal point for the STEM Futures scheme within the division. The scheme looks to provide a talent pipeline addressing specific skills gaps and makes use of links with industry and academia to provide placements to support this. There are opportunities for graduates to join directly onto this scheme.

Sensing and Detection
The Sensing and Detection Group specialises in the development of threat detection technology for the UK Armed Forces. The group’s expertise means that we also do work for other UK government departments. Our roles include a variety of work from the testing of commercially available equipment to taking part in the development of prototype bespoke equipment.
Much of the work in the group focuses on exploiting regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, this includes the following areas:
• High energy physics – including X-ray and high power lasers; as well as neutron activation
• Advanced radar techniques – including ground penetrating and other specialist radar
• Novel magnetic techniques – including specialist induction and magnetic resonance
These areas are investigated using the following techniques:
• Analysis, modelling and simulation using programmes such as MatLab, LabVIEW and Geant4
• Laboratory and off-site experiments using specialist equipment including oscilloscopes, spectrum analysers and network analysers
• Algorithm design and testing including digital signal processing (DSP)
• Radio frequency (RF) system design
In addition, the group specialised in:
• Assessment and evaluation of microelectronic components and systems. Mathematics and logic solving, pattern recognition, software specification, design and implementation
• Development of bespoke novel equipment, algorithm design, analysis, modelling and simulation

As a specialist group within the surveillance and communications domains we carry out research & design, test & evaluation and exploitation activities including:
• Embedded systems and firmware, software development, programming and mobile communications
• Software to solve challenging problems and potential risks of emerging computing threats, techniques and technologies
• Optics, electro-optics and lasers, including optical surveillance and image processing
• Radio Frequency Communications (including Networks, Protocols and SatComms), antenna research, design and modelling
• Electronic surveillance systems and networks
• Systems engineering, integration and interfacing of equipment onto a common platform


We are looking for someone who has:
• A flexible, adaptable and inquisitive approach to work.
• The ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

someone who wants to:
• Make a real difference/impact to the defence and security of the UK
• Develop analytical and research solutions to solve unique and complex problems Work alongside the best minds within Government, industry and academia
• Learn new skills, techniques and to continue their own professional development

Knowledge, Skills & Experience Required:
A keen interest in ongoing scientific developments and the opportunities/risks they may present for operations and capabilities.

Personal Qualities:
• Enjoys problem solving
• Has a good attention to detail
• Creative and innovative
• Keen to put forward their own ideas
• Great communication skills
• Collaborates with others and works well in a team
• Self motivation to learn new skills and develop
• Comfortable working under their own initiative
• Sees the bigger picture and can understand our customers needs

An undergraduate degree in one of the following (or similar) courses:
• Artificial Intelligence /Machine Intelligence
• Chemistry
• Communications Engineering
• Computer Science
• Electronic or Electrical Engineering
• Information Science
• Mathematics
• Mechanical Engineering
• Physics
• Robotics
• Software Engineering
• Statistics
• Systems Engineering

A Masters’ degree or PhD in a subject related to the above courses.

Security Clearance Required
Our work is highly sensitive and you will need a high level of security clearance to understand the security threats you are working to defeat. 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 partner organisations across Defence. We work closely with Defence Industry on many projects, so it would be great to work with you via one of our partners.

Training and Development
We will support your early career development through a mixture of on-the-job, course-based training which include;
• A wide range of interesting training modules for you choose from to build your technical ability and military, defence and security domain awareness.
• Talks and discussion groups led by some of our technical experts.
• Personal skills development.
• Networking with other new starters, both in our division and across Dstl, including access to our new starter support network.

Dstl is relocating its operation from the Fort Halstead site to our other Dstl sites by 2022, using a phased approach. This may result in staff moving at different times but we remain committed to supporting staff moves and providing as much notice as possible.
If your team has received their Posting Notices, your home site will be Dstl Porton Down and some travel to Fort Halstead will be required until the team move is completed. If Posting Notices or Letters of Intent have not been issued you will be subject to Dstl’s transfer clause and may be eligible for relocation when your team moves have been confirmed.


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

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

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.
  • Which group would you like to apply for a role in and what skills do you have that make you suitable for work in this group?
  • Describe a recent piece of scientific/ technical work that you found enjoyable, why was this memorable?


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.
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 

Apply today!