Dstl Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire
About the job
£24,558 - £53,422
Level 4 – Engineer/ Scientist (£24,558 - £35,379), Level 5 – Senior Engineer/ Scientist (£31,983 - £43,687), Level 6 – Principle Engineer/ Scientist (£39,716 - £53,422) - Role levels are dependent on experience
Do you have an interest in making systems do something they were never designed to do?
Do you have a flair for problem solving and a passion for new technologies?
Are you looking for a career with a difference?
We’re looking for motivated individuals who understand how technology and systems fundamentally operate.
At Dstl, we harness science and technology to protect our nation – bringing together the best people with the best ideas, and applying them in unexpected ways. Because we provide the UK government with specialist science and technology research, advice and analysis, what we do is often sensitive or international in nature. Much is operationally critical and has the potential to save many lives.
Together with other forward-thinking organisations around the country and overseas, we conduct leading cyber research, and support UK operations now and into the future. Here, you’ll help us establish a world class cyber vulnerability capability for the UK. It means applying your skills and knowledge to advance the tools, techniques and tradecraft we use.
You’ll work closely with experienced colleagues to perform vulnerability research on a wide variety of platforms.
These exciting roles require a breadth of specialist skills in technology and cyber vulnerability research combined.
You’ll face technical challenges working with a variety of technologies which will involve:
• Developing tools and techniques to aid our understanding of vulnerabilities.
• Applying your excellent technical skills and knowledge in lab-based research, practical technology projects, or military systems evaluation.
• Clearly communicating your work through demonstrations and presentations to a variety of stakeholders including internationally.
• Expertly documenting findings of your research.
Day to day life includes programming, lab-based research, or evaluating new tools and techniques in the field. No two roles at Dstl are the same, but your work at Dstl will make a difference to the UK’s Armed Forces. You will not have any direct line management responsibility, but you will be encouraged to develop members of staff working with you on your projects.
You will also be supported to develop technical and non-technical skills and have access to online learning, as well as our own development programmes and schemes. We also offer opportunities to gain Chartered status.
What does a Cyber Vulnerability Specialist need?
We encourage applicants to have technical experience or skills in one of the team areas listed below. You will be assessed on the technical skills presented in your application at interview
Specific Team skills
Software Coding & Concepts Team
o Strong skills with at least one high level Programming language C/C++, Python to aid developing and debugging software across a variety of systems.
o Able to demonstrate good knowledge of algorithm design/ problem solving / problem decomposition.
o Good understanding of computer architecture concepts.
Software Analysis Team
o Knowledge of static and dynamic analysis of software systems from source code or binary using Ghidra, IDA, radare2, or other similar tools.
o Expert knowledge of at least one of C, C++, Assembler (x86, ARM, or other).
o Proficient at understanding source code for analysis, characterisation, or running within a test harness.
RF & Electronics Technologies Team
o Practical experience using Electronics or RF testing and measurement equipment e.g. Oscilloscopes/ Spectrum Analysers/ Signal Generators.
o Good understanding of Analogue Electronics or Digital Electronics or RF Comms for design or reverse engineering tasks.
o Knowledge/ Experience of hardware description languages e.g. VHDL and/or Programming languages e.g. C / C++ / Python.
Algorithms, Data & Protocol Analysis Team
o Strong experience developing, analysing or reverse engineering communication protocols or packed data structures.
o Practical knowledge of compression, obfuscation and/or encryption techniques.
o Experience developing complicated machine algorithms, including pattern recognition, state machine transitions and/or machine learning.
System Characterisation & Understanding Team
o Strong experience of systems thinking/ systems theory and decomposition of systems.
o Practical knowledge of large interconnected systems (incorporating several processing elements and datalink connectivity at some level).
o Experience of delivery of projects/ technical leadership with many sub-tasks with different complexity.
A degree or advanced professional qualification in one of the following:
• Electronics/RF/Microwave Engineering, Communications Engineering, Signal Processing, System Engineering, Software Engineering, Systems Architecture
• Mathematics, Physics, , Artificial Intelligence,
• Cyber Security, Computer Science, Ethical Hacking
We will also welcome candidates with relevant work experience in these areas and the skills listed above. If these roles look interesting and match some or all of your skills then why not apply……you never know what it might lead to!
If however, you are interested in a job at Dstl but feel that this role is not quite you. Please have a look at the other opportunities available within Cyber and Information Systems Division at Dstl.
We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
Delivering at Pace
Communicating and Influencing
Changing and Improving
Developing Self and Others
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
• 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.
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 developed vetting.
Selection process details
This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours and Experience.
The recruitment process if successful at each stage will be as follows:
• Telephone interview (20 – 30 mins) – a short discussion about your application and give you an opportunity to discuss the role with us.
• Formal Interview (approx. 60 mins) - you will be invited for an interview at our Porton Down site. You will be asked to give a short presentation on a topic provided.
Please Note Sifting & interviewing will take place throughout the advertising period. If all roles are filled prior to the closing date the vacancy will close early.
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.
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
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 : email@example.com
Recruitment team :
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Should you wish to raise a formal complaint about the Dstl recruitment process you should email email@example.com stating the nature of the issue. We will respond within 5 working days.