Military innovation unit seeks to improve diversity in STEM hiring spree

Written by Sam Trendall on 3 November 2021 in News

Dstl undertakes ‘positive action’ to attract candidates from under-represented backgrounds

Credit: Innov8Social/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

The government’s military research and innovation unit is seeking to proactively recruit people from under-represented backgrounds as part of a hiring spree through which it aims to appoint up to 150 tech and science professionals.

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory has opened a two-month application window for roles across levels four to seven of its pay structure, which covers positions with annual salaries from £25,000 to £65,000. 

The process is open to anyone with any “relevant qualifications and/or experience from academia, private and public sectors – including the Armed Forces”. 

The hiring spree aims to bring in scores of scientists, technologists, engineers, technologists, and analysts; new recruits will join Dstl’s Cyber and Information Systems Division.

A key ambition of the recruitment exercise is to attract candidates from backgrounds that are currently under-represented among the organisation’s workforce.

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“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,” it said. “We particularly welcome female and ethnic minority applicants and those from the LGBTQI community, as they are under-represented within Dstl at these levels.”

Dstl added: “We are taking positive action to actively encourage under-represented people. Representation within our workforce from females, black and minority ethnic communities and the LGBTQI+ is currently much lower than we want it to be.”

The research unit added that it wishes to “actively encourage and welcome applications from those who work alternative working patterns [such as] part-time, job share, [or] term-time only”.

Dstl, which is an agency of the Ministry of Defence, is less flexible about applicants’ nationality; the job advert indicated that the organisation’s “work in defence, security and intelligence requires our employees to be British citizens who are able to gain a high level of security clearance to understand the work you will undertake to protect us from any security threats”.

“For this reason, we regret that only UK nationals will be able to apply for these roles,” it added. “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 government, security or defence partners. This role will require full UK security clearance and you should have resided in the UK for the past five years. For some roles developed vetting will also be required, in this case you should have resided in the UK for the past 10 years.”

Applications are open until 11.55pm on 2 January. 

Successful candidates will be based across various locations, including Dstl headquarters in Salisbury and satellite locations in Fareham and Newcastle, as well as the RAF Wyton facility in Huntingdon.

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology. He can be reached on

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