Grierson DocLab 2020

About Grierson DocLab

Grierson DocLab is a training scheme that helps new entrants thrive in the world of factual and documentary programme-making. The scheme takes place over the course of one year and is made up of a six-day residential training programme, an industry pass to Sheffield Doc/Fest, a Shoot/Edit weekend residential, attending The Grierson Awards in November, a bursary-supported two or four-week placement at a production company, mentoring, networking and one-day training opportunities too.

The residential programme will include:

  1. An overview of different documentary genres, their grammar and conventions
  2. A look at how you find and develop ideas
  3. A look at how broadcast commissioning works
  4. Exploring the variety of routes into the industry
  5. Practical exercises to hone your pitching skills
  6. Discussions about digital platforms, branded content, feature docs, and other ways to develop your career
  7. Talks from guest industry speakers including Grierson DocLab alumni about how they have got on since being on the scheme

The scheme is being enhanced this year through two additional three-month placements with a production company, made possible through our new supporter, Netflix.

Netflix’s partnership with Grierson DocLab also extends to the creation of two new trainee specialist residential schemes in editing and production management. More information about these schemes will be available later this year.

Who can apply

The scheme seeks young people who are passionate about factual television, from nature documentaries to reality TV; short-form content to feature docs and everything in between. We are looking for individuals who have ideas about how they can contribute to the industry, and who can offer fresh perspectives that are not currently reflected on-screen or behind the scenes.

The scheme is open to any UK resident aged 18-25. Applicants may be in full time education, but to be eligible must be in their final year of studies. The programme aims to help new entrants become job-ready and able to take up opportunities in the factual programme-making industry. As a result, young people will not be eligible if they have undertaken an industry placement or work experience that lasted more than three months.

We are particularly interested to receive submissions from people who are currently under-represented in the television industry including: women; people with a disability; BAME; people from the LGBTQ community; and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. This is in line with the positive action provision of the Equality Act 2010.

In return, this prestigious scheme will give successful applicants the support to take that first step towards a successful career in factual programme making. You will be enrolled onto a residential training programme, gain access to networking opportunities with award-winning industry professionals, structured mentoring support, the chance to attend the internationally recognised Sheffield Doc/Fest and a bursary-supported placement with a production company. The Grierson Trust will also provide bespoke ongoing support to help you progress along your chosen career path within the sector.

All expenses associated with participating in Grierson DocLab will be covered by the scheme, from the selection day, both the 6-day residential and the Shoot/Edit weekend which take place in central Birmingham, and an industry delegate pass to Sheffield Doc/Fest plus costs to attend the festival. All placements will be supported by bursaries to help with living costs.

How to apply

Application Criteria and Eligibility Check:

  1. You must be aged between 18-25 at the time of applying.
  2. You must be a UK resident with the right to live and work in the UK.
  3. If you are at college or university, you must be in your final year of study.
  4. You must be available to attend the selection day in central Birmingham on Tuesday 21 April 2020.
  5. You must commit to the whole of the Grierson DocLab scheme (see schedule below).
  6. You must be available for a two or four-week paid industry placement at a time to be agreed.

Schedule (please note this has now changed due to COVID-19):

  1. Selection Day – Tuesday 21 April
  2. DocLab Residential – Sunday 10 - Saturday 16 May
  3. Sheffield Doc/Fest – Friday 5 - Monday 8 June
  4. Shoot/Edit Weekend – Thursday 9 - Sunday 12 July
  5. Grierson Awards 2019 – Tuesday 10 November
  6. Two or four-week placement – to be arranged on an individual basis and to be completed by Easter 2021.

For the Netflix placements:

  1. Three-month placement – to be arranged on an individual basis and be completed by the end of 2021.
  2. Apply now!

    The closing date for applications is Friday 20 March 2020, 5pm.

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