Careers at Defence Research and Development Canada
We’re hiring for engineering positions at our research centres across Canada. Learn more.
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Careers in defence science
DRDC is the national leader on science and technology to enhance Canada’s defence and security. DRDC has seven research centres across Canada employing about 1,300 people, with an annual budget of more than $330 million, including $1.6 billion over 20 years for the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program.
At DRDC, you can:
- Work on research in priority areas that protect Canadians and promotes national sovereignty
- Work directly with experienced members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)
- Work with scientists and researchers that have developed world-renowned innovative science and technology-based solutions
- Support the Canadian Armed Forces and Canada’s safety and security communities, in an organization with a history of innovation.
- Work with partners in domestic and international organizations, industry, allies, academia and other government departments and agencies.
- Develop world-class science and technology, and research on cutting-edge technologies like space, cyber, quantum, and artificial intelligence.
How to apply
Meet our people
“DRDC has provided an excellent opportunity for both real world implementation and novel scientific development which would be difficult to attain in typical university or industry settings. The environment really is a "world is your oyster" type of setting and you just have to use the ample opportunities to fully develop your career and scientific discoveries.”
John is a Defence Scientist working in chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear (CBRN) medical countermeasures development
“Working at DRDC is the perfect career for me. On a daily basis, I get to apply my quantitative and problem solving skills against challenging, real-world problems. The solutions my team and I come up with can directly impact the safety and effectiveness of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. The highlights of my job include working closely with military personnel to ensure that my work remains relevant, collaborating with colleagues nationally and internationally to find the best possible tools and techniques to solve the hardest problems, and the opportunity to travel internationally.”
Debbie is a Defence Scientist working in operational research and analysis
“I joined DRDC after working in the private sector for a few years because of the unique science and technology challenges presented by the Canadian Armed Forces. To provide physical and medical solutions against biological hazards facing the Canadian Armed Forces, I have discovered that I have to work with experts from other fields using a multidisciplinary approach, which provides exciting opportunities. Working at DRDC allows me easy access to subject matter experts both nationally and internationally, in all areas of science and technology, so that a team can collaborate and deliver tangible solutions that influence the military. I am proud to work alongside these dedicated individuals every day and I am proud to be able to contribute.”
Nora is a Defence Scientist working in biological defence
Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) is committed to helping you gain valuable and meaningful work experience by actively participating in student hiring and student bridging programs. We recognize students as valuable contributors, who bring fresh ideas, new skills and innovative collaboration. At DRDC, you can gain hands-on experience, benefit from a diverse and inclusive workplace, and have the opportunity to kick-start your careers, while contributing to the safety and effectiveness of the Canadian Armed Forces, as well as, the security of Canada and its international allies.
At DRDC, you have the opportunity to:
- work with fellow students from across the country in addressing real-world military and security problems facing Canada;
- interact with a diverse community of experts including military members, contractors, leading private sector firms, and world-class scientists and technologists;
- receive hands-on training, mentoring, and professional development opportunities;
- access cutting-edge government labs, equipment, and unique research facilities;
- contribute to a wide array of possible research domains that help enhance Canada's defence and security posture through excellence in science, technology and innovation.
- become directly involved in the government’s scientific research community and potentially gain access to an academic supervisor with unique research questions, data, and broader research challenges;
- obtain a Government of Canada security clearance;
- launch your career as many of our students are hired back for future opportunities, term positions and indeterminate positions.
How to apply
At DRDC, you can be hired through any of the student hiring programs below:
- The Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP)
- The Post-Secondary Co-op/Internship Program
- The Research Affiliate Program
Diversity and inclusion
Diversity and inclusion are priorities at DRDC. Students from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply to opportunities at DRDC, and students can self-declare if they identify as a woman, an Aboriginal person, a member of a visible minority, or a person with a disability. Some jobs are only available to people in these groups. To be considered for these opportunities, students need to self-declare. Read more about Employment Equity and self-declaration.
- Through a GC Jobs account, you can sign up for email alerts when job listings matching your search criteria are posted.
- As a recent graduate, you can get help finding a career in the public service through Public Service Commission Post-Secondary Recruitment Campaigns.
To inquire about finding a PhD supervisor through DRDC, please contact: DRDCPartnerships-PartenariatsRDDC@forces.gc.ca.
Resources for new students
The DND Student Passport has been developed to assist with your transition to DND.
Onboarding tools and resources are available.
“Working for Defence Research and Development Canada at the Suffield Research Centre, I had the opportunity to conduct research for autonomous vehicles under the tutelage of brilliant mentors with state of the art equipment. As an electrical engineering undergraduate student, developing hands-on problem solving skills and an appreciation for academia proved to be invaluable for my career. Finding myself now drawn to a career in robotics, I found the technical knowledge I obtained with DRDC has allowed me to jump start my pursuit of a master's degree in this field.”
“I was first hired as a co-op student in the summer while I completed my Master’s degree. Not only did I gain valuable work experience in this role, I also built an amazing network of individuals who supported and guided me in my career development. After my co-op ended, I was offered an extension as a part-time FSWEP student while I completed the final year of my education. This gave me a great opportunity to continue my work with the organization, while also bringing new inspiration and points of interest in my academic research. Once I graduated, I was bridged in and I became an indeterminate employee. My first student position with DRDC represents the beginning of my career as a public servant, and many future opportunities for personal and professional growth!”
"My time at DRDC was incredibly rewarding and impactful. As a student, I was able to work alongside experienced researchers and scientists who were happy to help me advance my research skills and craft. I was able to utilize the skills learned in my graduate program, and apply them in a professional setting for the first time. It was a wonderful opportunity to create a positive impact through research, and also a great learning experience altogether."
"It has been an absolute pleasure and honour to work at Defence Research and Development Canada - Toronto Research Centre. The entire team works as one to ensure a mutually beneficial collaboration. The environment was flexible, diverse and inclusive. I worked under the supervision of a Senior Defence Scientist, who not only guided me on research and writing skills but also coached me in investigations and interpretations. I could not have asked for more!"
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