Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

From Powerbase
Jump to: navigation, search

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory is a UK government agency under the umbrella of the Ministry of Defence. It was created from the remainder of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency when that body was part-privatised to form Qinetiq.

DSTL Management Structure 2001/2. Source DSTL Annual Report and Accounts 2001/2 p. 45.

Information Operations

Since its creation in 2001 DSTL has been involved in Information Operations. In its 2001 Annual Report Information Operations was listed as one of seven areas headed by 'Technical Capability Leaders' reporting to the main Board.[1] In 2010 it lists Information Operations as part of the capabilities of its 'Security Science' department.[2] In a job profile form from 2009 for a Project Manager in the 'Information Management Department' based at Dstl Porton Down, it is noted that Information Operations is one of the responsibiliites of the research group.

The prime function of the group is to provide information and communication technologies (ICT) security advice and services across HMG. This covers all phases from protection through resilience and response into recovery. The group is also the co-ordination centre for research into Information Operations across Dstl tasking across the organisation, industry and academia as appropriate. The group is strongly technology based exporting its’ expertise into systems areas across Dstl as well as directly to the customer base.[3]

In 2010 a job profile form notes that 'Information Operations' and 'Influence Analysis' are the responsibilities of the 'Security Analysis Group' in the Policy & Capability Studies Department

Dstl’s Strategic Analysis Group exists to help decision makers, principally within the MOD but also other areas of Government, such as the intelligence community and the Home Office, to assess, manage and prepare for future strategic defence and security challenges. The Group achieves this through taking a holistic, structured, rigorous and analytical view, eg appraising the strategic challenges likely to be faced by the UK and the UK’s Armed Forces over the next twenty years. In particular, the Group draws the social and cultural dimension into all areas of work.

In order to fulfil this role, the Group employs analysts from a diverse and wide range of backgrounds, in order to allow for holistic analysis to be undertaken. These backgrounds include: psychology, anthropology, operational research, management science, war studies, international relations / strategic studies, geography, law, political science, intelligence analysts and social network analysts.[4] The Group consists of five teams:

  • Intelligence & Information Operations Team - Analyses a range of issues that support operational planning. A key area of work is the use of Social Network Analysis, which involves some analysts deploying to support operations in this area as well as underpinning work to improve our use of the method. Counter Terrorism is a growing area of work.
  • Resilience & Security Team - Leads on work in the area of resilience and security, advising on key issues and areas for improvement with a range of socio-technical systems. A growing area of work is in the area of social resilience and support to strategic planning. The team draws heavily on risk analysis within its work.
  • Influence Analysis - Undertakes research into influencing a range of parties. The work of the team supports customers such as DI Human Factors directly, inputs to concept development as well as providing key underpinning research for the other teams in the Group. Social science research is particularly key within this team.
  • Strategic Environment Analysis - Focuses at the geo-strategic level and informs key policy decisions, primarily for MoD on issues of national and trans-national security. The expertise on Deterrence sits within this team. Scenario writing is a key skill within this team.
  • Future Focused Research - Works to identify and undertake research into tomorrow's problems. In doing so, it supports the other teams in the Group by initiating research into areas they are likely to be called on to address in time.[4]


  • Jonathan Lyles - chief executive, appointed 2012, previously director of DSTL's Programme Office

Policy & Capability Studies Department, Farnborough (circa 2004) | George Rose Policy and Capability Department, Dstl, Farnborough (circa 2004) | D Tilley Policy & Capability Studies Department, Dstl, Farnborough (circa 2004)[6]

The following were listed as working at DSTL (with their paper title) at the Cranfield University Information Operations and Influence Activity (IOIA) Symposium in 2008:[7]

Philip Jones, DSTL, Hype or Hope? Development of Analytical Methods to Support Influence and Information Operations activities | Neil Verrall, DSTL, The appliance of Science: Applying Operational Analysis and Human Systems to Info Ops and PsyOps on Op TELIC | Robert Wilson-Town, DSTL, Social Influence Networks | Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington, DSTL, Training for Influence: How can one represent the Cognitive and the Behavioural in Collective Training Exercises?

Affiliations, Resources, Notes



A collection of documents by or about the DSTL is available on Scribd: DSTL documents

Annual Reports and Accounts

See also


  1. DSTL Annual Report and Accounts 2001/2 p. 45.
  2. DSTL Security Sciences, accessed 6 February 2010
  3. DSTL Form 467 Dstl Job Profile accessed 6 February 2010
  4. 4.0 4.1 DSTL Job Profile: Strategic Analyst, 22916, February 2010 3 p. Closing date for receipt of application 20 Feb 2010
  5. LinkedIn Tim Gardener, accessed 9 February 2011
  6. Institute of Mathematics and its Applications Analysing Conflict and its Resolution, 28-30 June 2004, Oxford, UK
  7. "IOIA 2008", Cranfield Universiy Website, accessed April 20 2010
  8. Members, The Henley Centre for Customer Management website, accessed 9 Nov 2009