Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic

NATO DIANA - Challenge Managers

To apply for this job to your existing account or an account for free.
Last update: Apr 25, 2024 Last update: Apr 25, 2024


Deadline: Jan 1, 2025
Location: UK
Job type:Contract, 4 to 12 months
English English
Work experience:Min 8 years
Date posted: Apr 25, 2024


No documents to display


Challenge Manager - Reserve Pool-240693
Primary Location: United Kingdom-London
NATO Body: Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA)
Schedule: Full-time
Application Deadline: ongoing
Salary (Pay Basis): 8,304.61Pound Sterling (GBP) Monthly
Grade: NATO Grade G20

A Reserve Pool is an open application that allows DIANA to fill temporary gaps in the workforce on short notice. In practice, this implies candidates are available for temporary assignments and are in possession of valid NATO security clearance at the time of application or have been in possession of such a clearance with the possibility to reactivate it swiftly.  We therefore only encourage applications for temporary positions within the Reserve Pool if you meet the below qualifications and are already, or have previously been, in possession of a valid NATO security clearance.


The Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) is NATO’s newest body. From across the Alliance, DIANA will bring together innovators and operational end users to foster a transatlantic ecosystem supporting groundbreaking dual-use innovation in emerging and disruptive technology fields. 
DIANA is now in the process of standing up, with the aim to reach full operational capability in 2025. Once established, DIANA will leverage a network of dozens of Allied test centres and accelerator sites to fulfil its mission.
DIANA is an independent NATO body comprised of an Allied Board of Directors and a management team - the DIANA Executive (DX). Operating out of regional offices in Europe and in North America, DIANA will carry out its mission: accelerating deep tech, dual-use solutions to critical Allied defence and security challenges. Guided by strategic direction from its Board, DIANA will use challenge, acceleration and rapid adoption programmes as the primary vehicles to accomplish this mission.


DIANA’s Challenge Programmes will combine the vision and inspiration of the Challenge Manager with the external insights and engagement from across the Alliance’s innovation ecosystems and the NATO Enterprise. DIANA will maintain a close working relationship with various Allied and NATO bodies, especially the Science and Technology Organisation, Allied Command Transformation, the Conference of National Armaments Directors, and others. Moreover, it will seek to establish industrial, academic, and international partnerships for the development and commercialization of technology. 
The Challenge Manager should join as an experienced professional from academic labs, government R&D, or the corporate sector and be ready to immediately leverage their deep technical knowledge and professional networks to drive the creation of new programs. Reporting to the Chief Technology Officer, they will work with R&D communities and stakeholders to establish the rigorous and ambitious program goals (including detailed technical milestones and other program activities) needed to manage a portfolio of sophisticated R&D projects.

Duties of the role include: 
•    Conduct and implement DIANA‘s Challenge Programs in collaboration with DIANA affiliated Acceleration Sites and Test Centers.
•    Coordinate with stakeholders across the NATO enterprise and member nations to develop the biannual Strategic Direction document that is used to inform the design of DIANA’s Challenge Programs.
•    Develop, refine, and update Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for DIANA’s Challenge Program(s), based on lessons learned from the pilot year (2023) and each ensuing year.
•    Lead the selection and coordination of Evaluation Panels for each years’ Challenge program solicitations.
•    Provide cross-functional support to the other strands of work of DIANA including, among other things, expert and technical advice on the legal framework and agreements with DIANA-affiliated Accelerator sites and Test Centres, the development of the rules and procedures of the Rapid Adoption Service, as well as DIANA’s other policies and procedures, and speak at public and private sector events as part of program-specific and DIANA-general outreach.
•    Represent DIANA in different fora, including seminars, conferences, speaking engagements or official visits. Adapt and tailor the presentations to the needs and expectations of the audience. Contribute to public information efforts, including making presentations to relevant stockholders, providing briefings to the media, and representing the Alliance at conferences and symposia as needed.
•    Perform any other related duty as assigned.


The incumbent must:
•    Possess an advanced university degree from an institute of recognized standing or equivalent qualification, in a science or engineering field;
•    Have at least 8 years’ experience in technology development, innovation and other related fields;
•    Have at least 4 years experience in innovation ecosystems, including engagement with private sector entrepreneurs, commercial and academic emerging and disruptive technology (EDT) innovators;
•    Be familiar with academic laboratories, research and development (R&D), technology transfer, and tech-to-market; 
•    Experience working and negotiating with experts from other fields, including across other functions and with military operational experts;
•    Be experienced in project management;
•    Possess the following minimum level of the English language: V (“Advanced”).

The following would be considered an advantage: 
•    Experience in a leadership position; 
•    Project Management Certification;
•    Experience drafting Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs);
•    Experience with or in accelerators/incubators with a deep tech focus;
•    Experience working in a multilateral environment or an environment with a variety of stakeholders from multi-cultural backgrounds;
•    Be conversant with the Alliance’s political and decision-making processes;
•    Knowledge of NATO institutional framework, policies and procedures;

Language Proficiency:
A thorough knowledge of one of the two NATO languages, both written and spoken, is essential and some knowledge of the other is desirable.
NOTE: Most of the DIANA’s internal work is conducted in the English language.


  • 37.5 hours per week schedule;
  • 2.5 paid days of leave per month;
  • Fulfilling work atmosphere in an international community; 
  • Contract: in accordance with the NATO Civilian Personnel Regulations, temporary staff may not be employed more than 6 months for the same assignment. However, if later required, contracts may be extended for another period of up to six months.
  • Salary: the remuneration of temporary personnel will be specified in their contracts. It is not typically exempt from taxation [1]. Temporary personnel are responsible for acquitting themselves of their responsibilities for the payment of taxes. 
  • Benefits package: temporary staff are covered by a benefits package which consists of pension contributions by the Organization (12% of basic salary), medical and accident benefits (death and invalidity) provided under the NATO Group insurance contract, and paid leave of 2.5 days per month worked. 


[1] Subject to bilateral agreements entered into between the NATO body and the Host Country concerned.

Our recruitment process:

  • Please note that we can only accept applications from nationals of NATO member countries.
  • Applications (including the most relevant publications, the diplomas - stating the highest level of education - and a CV) for this vacancy are to be submitted using the E-recruitment system. 
  • Appointment will be subject to receipt of a security clearance (provided by the national Authorities of the selected candidate) and approval of the candidate’s medical file by the NATO Medical Adviser.
Similar Jobs
By Locations
Job type:
Contract, 12 months +
Min 4years
Job type:
Permanent position
<1 year
By Sectors