Senior Space Technologist Ref. 2849

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Specialist Roles
Full-time and part-time opportunities (flexible working hours available)
£48,104 – £53,637 (dependent on skills and experience) with potential to qualify for further skills payments in the future

About Us
At GCHQ, we unlock the complex world of data and communications to keep the UK and its citizens safe, both in the real world and online. Working closely with our British Intelligence partners in MI5 and MI6, we protect the UK from threats including serious organised crime, terrorism, and cyber-attacks. A role in GCHQ means you’ll have varied and fascinating work in a supportive and encouraging environment that puts the emphasis on teamwork.

The Role

As Senior Space Technologist, you’ll be working in a team focused on developing novel Space systems that’ll shape future UK capability. You’ll be taking a leading role in projects that test weird and wacky ideas to see if they work – and you’ll be given the freedom to allow them to fail early. You’ll get the opportunity to work on varied and genuinely interesting products that'll be launched into space and used for gathering intelligence.

Your team members have come from academia and industry in other sectors, so your extensive experience in the Space industry will be vital. In partnership with colleagues from across the Intelligence services, MoD and DSTL you’ll also develop new Science and Technology relationships with foreign partners. And you’ll translate customers’ operational needs into technical requirements for engineering activities that will deliver solutions.

This is a proactive role where you will get the chance to use your skill and knowledge and directly contribute to the output of the technical team. There’s occasional travel – both nationally and internationally – and you’ll line manage some team members while encouraging them to come up with those never-been-done-before ideas that solve a wide variety of problems.

About You

You’ll be a qualified technologist who’s a practitioner with experience of either software development (C++, Java, Linux), hardware development (circuit design, PCB design, VHDL, RF development) or system engineering (Matlab, Python). Imaginative driven and motivated you have a track record of using your skill and initiative to successfully deliver systems to exacting timescales.

You’ll be a team player who’s happy to work closely with customers and partners across government, industry, and academia. And you’ll have the presentational and interpersonal skills to represent our interests in a variety of situations.

Training and Development 

We’re invested in you, which is why we offer plenty of on-the-job training and development opportunities to support you in your role and help you grow. In the past, we’ve helped our people to complete master’s and PhDs alongside their role.

And when you join, we’ll pair you up with a mentor and buddy to help you settle in.

Rewards and Benefits

You’ll receive a starting salary of £48,104 – £53,637 plus other benefits including:

•    25 Days Annual Leave automatically rising to 30 days after 5 years' service, and an additional 10.5 days public and privilege holidays
•    Opportunities to be recognised through our employee performance scheme
•    Interest-free season ticket loan
•    Excellent pension scheme
•    Cycle to work scheme
•    Facilities such as a gym, restaurant and on-site coffee bars (at some locations)
•    Paid parental and adoption leave.

Equal Opportunities

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, ages, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ways of thinking and those with disabilities or neurodivergent conditions. We therefore welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including those from groups that are under-represented in our workforce such as women, those from an ethnic minority background, people with disabilities and those from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Find out more about our culture, working environment and diversity on our website:

We’re Disability Confident

GCHQ are proud to have achieved Leader status within the DWP’s Disability Confident scheme.  This is aimed at encouraging employers to think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled people.  Being Disability Confident, we aim to offer a person-to-person interview to any candidate who self-identifies as disabled and meets the essential criteria for the role.  This is our ‘Offer of Interview’ (OOI). To secure an interview for this vacancy, the essential criteria (in order of application process) are: 

Essential Criteria:

•    Should be an engineering practitioner, i.e. they will have at least 5 to > 10 years hands on development experience of Software Development, Systems Engineering or Hardware development.
•    Should have experience of working and delivering capability in a team environment to challenging timescales.
•    Should have hands on experience/connection with the Space industry/sector either directly working in it or delivering to it in some capacity.

What to Expect

Our recruitment process is fair, transparent, and based on merit. Here is a brief overview of each stage, in order:

Selection Process:

•    Application sift, looking at your motivation for the role and the organisation
•    Interview including presentation
•    If successful, you will receive a conditional offer of employment, subject to vetting

Please note, you must successfully pass each stage of the process to progress to the next. Your application may take around 6 - 9 months to process including vetting, so we advise you to continue any current employment until you have received your final job offer.

Before You Apply

To work at GCHQ, you need to be a British citizen or hold dual British nationality. You can read our full eligibility criteria here.

This role requires the highest security clearance, known as Developed Vetting (DV). It’s something everyone in the UK Intelligence Community undertakes. You can find out more about the vetting process here.

Please note we have a strict drugs policy, so once you start your application, you can’t take any recreational drugs and you’ll need to declare your previous drug usage at the relevant stage.

The role is based in GCHQ, so you’ll need to live within a commutable distance. Please consider any financial implications and practicalities before submitting an application, as we do not offer relocation costs.

Please note, you should only launch your application from within the UK. If you are based overseas, you should wait until you visit the UK to launch an application. Applying from outside the UK will impact on our ability to progress your application. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member. 

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.