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 TV and documentary filmmaking. 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 the 2022 iteration of the core Grierson DocLab new entrants’ scheme are now open. The deadline is Friday, 11 February at 5pm. Visit the Grierson DocLab core page for further information.

More information on applications for the 2022 Grierson DocLab In Focus: Editing and Production Management schemes will be published in June 2022.

About Grierson DocLab

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

Taking place over the course of one year, it is made up of: a five-day online training programme and three-days in person training; up to four-week placement, supported by a bursary at a UK production company; a match with an industry mentor; full industry delegate pass for Sheffield Doc/Fest; attendance at the Grierson Awards in November; plus networking and one-day training opportunities and ongoing bespoke support beyond the scheme.

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, networks and confidence to pursue a career in factual television in editorial or production management roles.

Applications for Grierson DocLab 2022 are now open. The deadline for applications is Friday, 11 February 2022 at 5pm.

Find out more and apply!

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 involves 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 June 2022.

  1. Meet the 2021 Grierson DocLab In Focus: Production Management trainees
  2. Read about the training week
  3. Watch the film about the new Grierson DocLab In Focus schemes

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 involves 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.

This training course 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.

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

  1. Meet the Grierson DocLab In Focus: Editing trainees
  2. Read about the training week
  3. Watch the film about the new Grierson DocLab In Focus schemes

Grierson DocLab schemes, diversity and inclusion

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 those from lower socio-economic backgrounds; people with a disability; those from ethnic minority backgrounds and people from the LGBTQ+ community. 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. 

Read our Diversity and Inclusion Statement.

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 2022, please get in touch.

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