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The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is a trading fund of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) which maximises the impact of innovative science and technology for the defence and security of the UK. It helps develop battle-winning technologies based on world-class research to support military operations now and into the future.

Dstl supplies specialist services to the MOD and wider government through world-class independent scientific advice, defence research, specialist technical services and the ability to track global technological developments. The organisation generates considerable intellectual property in specialist areas such as biotechnology, healthcare, material science and telecommunications.
Dstl signage - Crop copyDstl has core expertise and capabilities across a multitude of disciplines, strengthened by trusted partnerships with academia and industry. Around 60 per cent of the MOD’s £410m science and technology programme is supplied by its external partners in industry and academia worldwide. The organisation has close links with the University of Southampton and collaborates with other leading universities and large defence companies.

For ambitious, motivated and curious individuals, Dstl offers the chance to work on ground-breaking projects in a unique environment. Employees develop wide-ranging skills and experience while learning from some of the brightest minds in the UK.

The organisation is a member of the 5% Club which is committed to ensuring five per cent of its workforce are apprentices, graduates or sponsored students on a structured programme.

Undergraduate students part-way through their degree studies can take advantage of one-year industrial placements where participants work with teams of engineers and scientists on projects supporting the MOD, UK armed forces and other government departments. Summer vacation placements are available to students looking for an 8-12 week position. These placements provide an opportunity to gain relevant work experience on a variety of projects while earning a wage.

s630_45156098_gov.uk_resizedDstl’s two-year graduate programme provides excellent training and guidance to help start careers. The business recruits around 80 graduates every year from a wide-range of scientific, technology, engineering and mathematical disciplines and backgrounds. Opportunities for the graduate programme are advertised on the civil service job site and Gradcracker from October each year.

Entrants to the two-year programme have the opportunity to learn and develop in a hands-on and supportive environment from some of the top experts in their fields. All graduates are encouraged to join a Chartership scheme and may be able to study for further qualifications such as an MSc or PhD. On-the-job training is supplemented by courses and workshops to build technical and personal skills. Participants are encouraged to go on secondments in other Dstl divisions, within the wider MOD or with one of its many industrial partners. Strong links with military allies also gives some scope for short term placements overseas.

Find out more about Dstl and its career opportunities at



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Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is the centre of scientific excellence for the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD). It provides impartial scientific and technological advice to the UK Armed Forces and British Government.

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