Careers at Defence Research and Development Canada

Whether you’re conducting research, developing a new technology or working to improve the organization – your efforts at Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) will contribute to innovations that increase the safety and effectiveness of the Canadian Armed Forces, as well as the defence, public safety, and security of Canada and its international allies.

DRDC is the national leader in defence and security science with 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.

Our key roles include: 

  • Providing national leadership on science and technology to enhance Canada’s defence and security posture;
  • Advising the Department of National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) and public safety and national security communities;
  • Engaging and collaborating with domestic and international partners on science and technology related issues;
  • Fostering open innovation to provide creative thinkers with the structure and support to encourage defence and national security solutions;
  • Informing the military and national security science and technology investment plans;
  • Partnering with more than 150 external entities, including academia, industry, other government departments and agencies, and allies.

A career in defence science facilitates working on research issues that protect Canadians and promotes national sovereignty, enables Canadian Armed Forces operations, fosters innovation, develops world-class science and technology, and opens the door to evolving career opportunities, international collaboration, and research on cutting-edge technologies like space, cyber, quantum, and artificial intelligence.

At DRDC, you can: 

Work with members of the Canadian Armed Forces

Defence Scientists enjoy the unique opportunity to work with experienced members of the Canadian Armed Forces to inform new scientific research, technologies and techniques tailored to the Canadian Armed Forces’ capabilities, practices and culture and contributing to safer and more effective operations.

Conduct world-leading research

DRDC is responsible for providing national leadership on science and technology to enhance Canada’s defence and security posture. The Department of National Defence’s Defence and Security Science and Technology program has eight strategic focus areas, namely: People, Combat in the Virtual and Physical Environment, Advance Platforms and Weapons, Accelerate Command, Control and Intelligence, Defend North America; Enable Safety and Security, The Institution; and the Evolution of Science and Technology.

Develop cutting edge technology

DRDC scientists and researchers have developed world-renowned innovative science and technology-based solutions to support the Canadian Armed Forces and Canada’s safety and security communities.

Partner with international and domestic experts

Defence and security science teams regularly work with other partners, including domestic and international organizations, industry, allies, academia and other government departments and agencies. Combining funding and brainpower is a rewarding and effective way of solving scientific or technological challenges.

Find out more in our partnerships and opportunities section.

How to apply

Career opportunities with DRDC are regularly updated on the federal public service employment site, jobs.gc.ca, and through the Canadian Armed Forces Careers site.

Students can find information about federal student hiring programs and student bridging programs through DRDC’s student opportunities page.

Testimonials

“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

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