Head of GCHQ Cyber Engineering (Cheltenham) Ref. 2257

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£72,952 / £77,219 depending on experience plus a £5000 recruitment bonus
At GCHQ, diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission. To protect the UK, we need a truly diverse workforce that reflects the society we serve. This includes diversity in every sense of the word: those with different backgrounds, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ways of thinking and those with disabilities or neurodiverse conditions. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including those from groups that are under-represented in our workforce.

An exciting opportunity to contribute to the future of GCHQ and to lead the development of new cyber capabilities to satiate growing mission demand in this ever more complex world. In the rapidly shifting, globally connected time in which we now live, our challenge to maintain the ability of GCHQ and UK Government to harness future technologies is becoming more and more difficult.

This post is within GCHQ’s Directorate of Research and Engineering (DRE) and provides strategic, visionary leadership to a team of currently circa 400 engineers working at the forefront of cyber-related technology. This team is expected to grow in the coming years with opportunity and expectation to have impact at scale.

As the head of Cyber Engineering, you will need the enthusiasm and interpersonal skills to champion and drive sustainable change that delivers real improvements to our mission capability. You will set clear vision and give strategic direction to your Cyber Engineering teams.


You will lead your teams through significant challenges and opportunities: building National Cyber Capabilities across Government, Digital Transformation, establishing modern Engineering tradecraft, encouraging greater hybrid working (across different security domains and integrating industry colleagues), innovating new ways of working, and championing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

You will work in close partnership with our collaborators in other parts of GCHQ’s Technology Directorates as well as other Engineering groups, so that collectively GCHQ achieves its mission goals and transformational objectives.

You will build a workforce with a mix of minds and skills and behaviours that are fit for the future.

As part of GCHQ’s Engineering Leadership Team, you have a key role in making Engineering greater than the sum of its parts. You will also actively contribute to Engineering’s transformation, securing your Cyber Engineering teams future within that.


You will balance the competing needs of a wide and diverse set of stakeholders including (but not limited to):

•    The Engineering Leadership Team
•    DRE Senior Leadership Team
•    Technology partners within GCHQ’s Directorate General for Technology
•    Intelligence and Cyber Mission Leads
•    Other Government Departments


You will create a culture of inclusion, openness, empowerment and psychological safety that will grow thriving and self-sustaining and high performing teams, utilising our partners to augment our skills and workforce capacity. You will role model our GCHQ values of integrity, ingenuity, teamwork and impact.

Key Responsibilities

•    Exemplify inclusive and supportive leadership and passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion
•    Demonstrate collaborative working and success, through peer group teams
•    An excellent and resilient leader adept at building and maintaining strong relationships with internal and external partners. You will be able to relate to and understand your technical staff and support your colleagues
•    You will have a credible leadership background, preferably with demonstrable experience in running a STEM business area and insight into modern engineering and technology best practice
•    You will a have experience of delivering transformation change
•    Your communication skills will be exemplary, able to articulate vision in a clear and accessible way, inspiring stakeholders and colleagues to follow you and empowering your brilliant workforce

The centre of gravity for your teams and your technology/mission partners is in Cheltenham – you do have some teams located in Greater Manchester. Therefore, this post is centred in Cheltenham, but applications from other locations will be welcome – noting an expectation for at least a twice-weekly presence in Cheltenham.
We are seeking applicants from the widest possible talent pool and a mix of minds for this role.

Training and Development

We’re proud of our inclusive and supportive working environment that is designed to encourage open minds and attitudes. As an organisation that values and nurtures talent, we’re committed to helping you fulfil your potential. With comprehensive training and development opportunities tailored to your needs and the requirements of your work, we’ll enable you to flourish in your role and perform to the very best of your abilities.

Selection Process

To apply for this position, you must meet our nationality, residency, and security requirements.  You’ll find more details here.

As users of the disability confident scheme, we also guarantee to interview all disabled candidates who meet the minimum criteria for our roles.

You can familiarise yourself with the general competencies we use to assess the aptitude of candidates here.

Be prepared to dedicate 60-90 minutes to completing your application. We’re conscious this might be more time than you expected, so our system will allow you to save your application at any time and come back to it later. But remember to submit your full application before the closing date.

Once we’ve established that you meet our eligibility criteria, the next steps of this selection process are:

-    Telephone Interview
-    Online proficiency test
-    Personal Interview*
-    Drug test

If you successfully complete these stages, you’ll receive a job offer, conditional upon you completing our developed vetting (DV) process which enables you to obtain the level of security clearance required to perform this vital role.

Disability Confident Statement:

As a Disability Confident employer, we will ensure that a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for this position will be offered an interview. This is known as the Offer of Interview (OOI). If you successfully complete the required stages, and are successful at interview, you will receive a job offer conditional on you completing your vetting process, which enables you to obtain the level of security clearance required to undertake this role.
If you successfully complete the required stages, and are successful at interview, you will receive a job offer conditional on you completing our developed vetting (DV) process, which enables you to obtain the level of security clearance required to undertake this role.

Right to Withdraw Statement:
Please be aware that we withhold the right to bring forward the closing date for this role from the original closing date once a certain number of applications have been received. Please be mindful of this and submit your application at your earliest convenience to avoid disappointment.

This Program / Vacancy is closed to applications.