Work Experience with Dstl

The EP team recently caught-up with Margaret Archibong, Holly-Jayne Wilkinson, Joe Day, Lauren Thynne, Sabrina Iannazzone and Anna Steinmeier who are working on various activities as a part of their virtual internship with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL).

As the work is being undertaken remotely, the students have had the additional flexibility of being able to do other work or study during the internship.

The students were managed by Professor Martin Parr who has given them work that Dstl would give to a summer student.

Martin said ‘the students are able to take a fresh look at a few packages of work and suggest interesting and new ways of taking them forward. I always like to give students something interesting and complex so that the work is fun. I keep in touch with them regularly and let them take the work where they want to go as much as I can.’

The current group of students are working in pairs, thinking about three key issues: (1) How to measure the maturity of an organisation that has been outsourced, (2) How to measure the performance of a technology acceleration organisation and (3) Taking forward some key research questions as to how to make public services more efficient.

Sabrina reflected on her placement: ‘The best defense relies on a deep understanding of the country’s needs and its strategic positioning within the context of global challenges and threats, with a long-term focus and a multilateral perspective. I am glad to work with Martin at Dstl to enhance the exchange of best practices across countries and sectors, and develop a comprehensive approach to understand problems and find effective solutions.’

Margaret had this to say: ‘Throughout the DSTL experience I have adopted different research methods and drawn knowledge from my course in order to complete work-related tasks. From working alongside others, I feel I have developed teamwork, communication and organisational skills, which essentially boost my employability. In addition, our mentor is always available to help with questions that come up within the process of our research, as well as any general questions about politics and the defence industry. It has been great to experience how things operate within the sector that I wish to pursue a career in.’

Last year the Dstl students worked on a project to enhance the use of Evidence Based Decision Making across government. They put together a very insightful presentation that has been used many times to convince government leaders to take an evidence-based approach to decision making.

To find out more about Dstl, take a look at their website here.