Grierson DocLab

About the Grierson DocLab training and mentoring schemes

Grierson DocLab is a training scheme that helps new entrants thrive in the world of factual and documentary programme-making. From 2021, The Grierson Trust also offers two further specialist schemes in the form of Grierson DocLab In Focus: Editing and Grierson DocLab In Focus: Production Management, with support from Netflix.

Applications for all three 2021 schemes closed on Friday, 12 February 2021 at 5pm. The trainees for each scheme have now been selected.


Applications for the 2022 schemes will open in December 2021.  


About Grierson DocLab

Grierson DocLab is a training scheme that helps new entrants thrive in the world of factual and documentary programme-making. It has been running since 2012, with the exception of 2014, and The Trust keeps in contact with Grierson DocLab Alumni as they progress their career.

The scheme takes place over the course of one year and is made up of: a six-day online training programme; a paid two or four-week placement at a UK production company; a match with an industry mentor; camera and editing training; a trip to Sheffield Doc/Fest; attending the Grierson Awards in November, plus networking and one-day training opportunities too.

The programme is targeted at UK-based young people aged 18-25 who are passionate about factual television, from nature documentaries to reality TV; short-form content to feature docs and everything in between. It gives trainees the knowledge, network and confidence to pursue a career in factual television.

Applications for Grierson DocLab 2021 are now closed. The 2022 applications will open in December 2021, please sign up to the newsletter and follow The Grierson Trust on social media for more news.

About Grierson DocLab In Focus: Production Management

This scheme is for individuals aged 18+ who want to pursue a career within the production management area of documentary programme-making. With eight places available, it is specifically designed for people with no previous experience in the television industry, as well as those who do have experience, and is also open to applicants returning to work after a break or looking for a career change. The programme will involve an intensive schedule with industry speakers covering a wide range of topics including budgeting, cash flow and production paperwork; health and safety and risk assessments; music and archive copyright clearances; managing and looking after personnel; understanding deliverables; how to embed diversity and inclusion into the production; as well looking at when to step up to the next level in a career.

A special webinar introducing the production manager scheme was held on Wednesday, 13 January 2021 for those who have no previous experience in the TV sector. Watch the recording.

Applications for Grierson DocLab In Focus: Production Management 2021 are now closed. More news on this scheme will be published in 2022.

About Grierson DocLab In Focus: Editing

The editing programme also has eight places available for those aged 18+ with some post-production experience looking to step up to Assistant Editor, who want to learn the art and craft of narrative storytelling. The programme will involve a rigorous schedule with leading industry speakers covering topics such as: managing the relationship with the director; insight and case studies from editors about how they have developed their respective careers; and how to enhance the story and challenges in the edit. This scheme will be an opportunity to develop and hone creative skills, moving from the technical ability to edit, to making artistic decisions in order to create the story in the edit.

Candidates for the editing scheme are expected to be proficient in basic editing skills on Avid or Premier Pro at the time of applying.

Applications for Grierson DocLab In Focus: Editing are now closed. More news on this scheme will be published in 2022.

Both new DocLab In Focus training courses will prepare each successful applicant for an up-to-three-month paid contract working on a Netflix documentary production. Coupled with ongoing support from The Grierson Trust, trainees will have access to networking events plus professional development opportunities through a programme of webinars over six months. They will be assigned an industry mentor and all trainees will then join the Grierson DocLab Alumni group which provides continuing support through its network.

The Trust has an established track record of supporting under-represented groups in the factual TV industry. We therefore particularly encourage applications to all schemes from women; people with a disability; those from BAME backgrounds; people from the LGBTQ+ community; and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds. We also encourage candidates from geographical areas across the UK that do not have many opportunities in the screen industries to apply. This is not a definitive list and those applying will have the opportunity to make their case as to how they meet these criteria. This is in line with the positive action provision of the Equality Act 2010. 

Grierson DocLab Alumni

The core Grierson DocLab scheme has been running since 2012, with the exception of 2014, and The Trust keeps in contact with Grierson DocLab Alumni as they progress their respective careers.

Our 2021 Supporters

The Grierson Trust is enormously grateful for the support it receives, particularly from headline sponsors and partners Netflix and many of the UK's leading independent factual production companies. BBC Studios, Blast! Films, Box to Box Films, Dragonfly TV, The Garden, Lightbox, Minnow Films, Plimsoll Productions, RAW, Twenty Twenty, Wall to Wall and Wise Owl Films/All3Media have all committed their assistance for 2021, with additional support for the scheme coming from The Rumi Foundation.

We would like to thank our supporters in-kind, Clear Cut Pictures, Blueberry Creatives, Talented People, The Kit Room and The Talent Manager, plus all our industry colleagues and friends who give their time and wisdom to mentor or conduct talks and workshops for our trainees.

If you would like to support Grierson DocLab 2021, please get in touch.

Grierson DocLab in partnership with The Rank Foundation and Netflix

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