Summer Placement – Defence Security Analysis Division

Company Details

Studying for a STEM degree and looking for an exciting placement that’s also surprisingly different?

Are you passionate about delivering high impact research or analysis? Do you want to make a difference to the way Defence and Security operates and how it protects the UK, and our armed forces, from real world threats, both at home and abroad?

Dstl’s Defence & Security Analysis Division supports the Ministry of Defence and wider Government to ensure intelligent decision-making is at the heart of the UK Defence and Security. We provide a broad range of impartial evidence-based analysis and human science advice supporting high priority decision-making on critical policies and to evaluate exciting new capabilities and technologies.

The breadth and impact of our research ranges from providing unbiased advice to the Armed Forces so they can make informed decisions about the design and procurement of battle-winning equipment and critical enabling capabilities, through to supporting the development and delivery of strategic Defence policy and the wider Government’s counter terrorism strategy.

We work at the forefront of defence and security analysis and research. This is a dynamic and rapidly evolving environment. Quite simply, this is work that you cannot do anywhere else.

We’re seeking individuals with skills studying towards an honours degree or Masters degree in any numerate, scientific, human or social science subject or a degree with a strong relevance to defence and security issues.

We are particularly keen to hear from you if you have a degree in the following subjects:

  • Operational Research, Maths, Science and Engineering
  • Data Science, Computer Science and Software Engineering
  • Human Factors and Human Sciences (for example Ergonomics, Sports Science, Psychology, Human Computer Interaction)
  • Politics and International Relations

We will need you to have relevant technical knowledge and experience gained from your degree, strong IT and communication skills with a flexible, adaptable and inquisitive approach to work.

Job description

We are looking for someone who wants to:

  • Make a real difference/impact to the defence and security of the UK
  • Solve problems and develop analytical and research solutions
  • Work with the best minds whether they are in Government, industry or academia
  • Learn new skills, techniques and to continue their own professional development

In this role you will;

  • Work as in a multidisciplinary team to provide timely, impartial, evidence-based advice.
  • Work with customers and the military to understand their requirements & develop solutions.
  • Lead small work packages, being responsible for your own research and analysis.
  • Provide technical advice and direction to industrial and academic partners and suppliers.
  • Prepare and deliver technical reports and presentations to both technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Develop your knowledge and understanding of defence and security challenges and issues.

Training and Development

We will support your early career development through a mixture of on-the-job, course-based training and possible placements which include;

  • Talks and discussion groups led by some of our technical experts.
  • Personal skills development.
  • Networking with other students and graduates, both in our division and across Dstl, including access to our new starter support network.


You will work on a dynamic collection of projects, contributing to a diverse team of specialists delivering critical scientific advice and solutions. You will support the development of vital defence capabilities, using creativity and innovation.

We help our customers explore their complex unbounded problems using systems thinking and problem structuring techniques to ensure a good understanding of the decisions that need supporting.

Our Analysts use and develop quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques, such as modelling and simulation, data analysis and statistics through to focus groups, table-top exercises and wargames in order to analyse the impact and effectiveness of different technologies, concepts and policies.

Our Human and Social Scientists lead the delivery of future-focused research and consultancy, advising on human performance & behaviours and understanding how people react and are influenced by a wide range of threats, including new threats such as cyber.
We are leading in state of the art techniques including data science, behavioral analytics, visualisation and the use of virtual/augmented reality to explore how we can improve decision making.

You will undertake technical work from the very start of your career at Dstl, working with industry, academia and internationally to deliver advice to our customers right across the MOD and to other parts of Government. You will be in control of your own research; responsible for designing, developing, and implementing technical methods and approaches that will provide impartial evidence-based solutions to inform decision making. There will be opportunities to travel to military sites, attend various trials and undertake international travel.

You’ll be supporting the delivery of technical work for our customers during the course of your placement at Dstl, working in project teams alongside graduates, more senior staff and technical authorities to deliver high impact advice to customers.

You will build positive relationships across Dstl and with our wider government partners, suppliers and customers, to understand, shape and develop their requirements and identify linkages to ensure the maximum exploitation of work.


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

  • Working Together
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Developing Self and Others

Technical skills

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

Quantitative and Qualitative analytical techniques


We’ll provide a great range of benefits including;

  • Flexible working
  • 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
  • Pension
  • Generous annual leave
  • A competitive salary
  • Excellent learning and development
  • 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 maximises 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 Network
  • Faith and Culture Network
  • Parents and Carer Support Network
  • Alternative Working Network
  • Gender Equality Network
  • New Starters Network
  • Enabled Network

Things you need to know


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.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.
If you are successful at the application stage you will be invited for an interview at our site. Full details will be emailed to you as part of your invitation email.

As part of our early talent scheme students may be offered the opportunity of transition into a permanent graduate role or a returning summer position following successful completion of their placement.

Students can only join this scheme upon completion of a placement with Dstl and with appropriate approval.

These placements are open to any student currently undertaking a relevant STEM degree subject

Equal Opportunities

At Dstl we are committed to inclusivity and diversity within our workforce. During the application process we collect information to help us monitor this. It helps us better-understand our incoming workforce, as well as highlighting areas of improvement.
The information we request will be anonymised and therefore will not be used to make a decision about your application – no applicant or employee will ever be seen as more or less favourable based on disability, gender, martial or civil partnership status, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion/belief.

Important Information

The security of our work means that only UK nationals who have also resided in the UK for the last 5 years (10 years for certain roles) can be considered. Some roles will require Developed Vetting (DV). Unfortunately dual nationals cannot be considered.

  • 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.

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