Applications for Grierson DocLab In Focus: Editing are now closed

The trainees for 2021 Grierson DocLab In Focus: Editing have now been selected. Meet the group.

About the scheme

The Grierson Trust, with support from Netflix, is launching a new documentary editor training programme as part of its Grierson DocLab outreach initiative. Grierson DocLab In Focus: Editing has eight places available for those with some post-production experience looking to step up to Assistant Editor, who want to learn the art and craft of narrative storytelling.

Given the COVID-19 situation, this inaugural year of DocLab In Focus: Editing will be delivered online over six days. The week (led by editor and teacher Claire Ferguson) will involve an intensive 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.

It will prepare each successful applicant for a paid contract (up to three months in duration) working on a Netflix documentary production. As this is a trainee scheme, the placement will be for a new entrant role, possibly as an assistant editor depending on individual trainees’ initial skillsets. We are planning for the work to be undertaken in person, rather than remotely, subject to COVID-19 guidelines.

Coupled with ongoing support from The Trust, trainees will have access to networking events (held online and in-person), plus professional development opportunities, through a programme of webinars over six months. They will be assigned an industry mentor and be invited to the prestigious Grierson Awards, taking place at The Queen Elizabeth Hall, 10 November 2021, to network with industry guests. All trainees will then join the Grierson DocLab Alumni group for continued support through the network.

Who should apply?

Applicants need to have strong editing technical skills which could come from a range of different experiences. This includes experience working in a post-production facility, being a runner or working in the machine room. Applicants could also be self-taught or an edit assistant seeking an opportunity to progress in their career. This is not an exhaustive list, but we must emphasise that applicants should ideally have some professional experience, of course be passionate about documentaries and have the ambition to work hard and learn from the leading editors of today.

This scheme will be an opportunity to develop and hone trainees’ creative skills, moving from the technical ability to edit, to how to make artistic decisions in order to create the story in the edit. For those who are self-taught and not familiar with the terminology, this programme is to train individuals to be offline editors (who craft the film from the footage provided), as opposed to online editors (who create the final cut of the programme by adding titles, making colour corrections, adding visual effects, etc.).

The Trust has an established track record of supporting under-represented groups in the factual TV industry. This new programme continues that focus and we particularly encourage applications 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 in line with the positive action provision of the Equality Act 2010.


  1. You will be expected to have strong technical editing skills, which could be self-taught, learnt through education or gained by on-the-job training
  2. You will have experience of Avid or Adobe Premiere Pro, plus operational knowledge of how to ingest files, bin structure, cutting tools, grouping/syncing and exporting media, as well as an understanding of the importance of the EDL (edit decision list). Please note that although we accept Adobe Premiere Pro experience, the training programme will be run on Avid


  1. Applications are welcomed from anyone aged 18+
  2. You must be a UK resident with the right to live and work in the UK
  3. You must not be in full-time education
  4. You must commit to the whole of the Grierson DocLab In Focus: Editing scheme (see schedule below)


  1. You must be available for a video call interview on Tuesday, 23 March 2021
  2. You must commit to the whole of the online training course from Monday, 26 April to Saturday, 1 May
  3. You must be available during a May – end of 2021 window for the paid contract (we anticipate confirming approximate dates by Easter 2021)

Application Process

Applications closed at 5pm on Friday, 12 February 2021.

If you have been shortlisted you will know by Tuesday, 16 March. Unfortunately, if you haven't heard from us by then, this means you have not been successful this time around. Due to the high number of applications to the schemes, we regret that we cannot provide feedback to applicants who aren't successful. Good luck and thank you again to all who applied.

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