The Grierson Trust’s 2023 Grierson DocLab training programme is now open for applications.

12 participants aged between 18 – 25 will be selected for the initiative which supports young people in becoming ‘job ready’ for roles in factual TV and documentary. Established in 2012, over 120 people have undertaken the core DocLab programme and now work across the TV industry with continued support from The Grierson Trust.

Sylvia Bednarz, Managing Director of The Grierson Trust said: “Grierson DocLab seeks out aspiring factual filmmaking talent and gives them the skills to make the leap into the documentary industry. With training led by industry professionals and practical bursary-supported work placements with the UK’s leading independent production companies, DocLab sets the standard for industry training.”

The Grierson Trust is looking for “applicants 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 for new entrants and supports a variety of entry level roles behind the camera across editorial and production management and takes the successful applicants through learning about documentary genres and the UK TV industry landscape to pitching a factual TV concept.

Previous iterations of the core and Netflix-supported Grierson DocLab In Focus: Editing and Production Management programmes have supported 66% female; 32% male and 2% non-binary people; 41% of trainees describe themselves as coming from ethnic minority backgrounds; 20% of trainees describe themselves as being disabled and 65% of trainees are from outside of London.

Amongst the recent Grierson DocLab Alumni successes are Cherish Oteka (2016) who was the 2022 BAFTA Best Short Film winner for their documentary, The Black Cop; Jess Gell and Leonie Rousham (2020) worked on feature film, Hostile, a BAFTA and BIFA-longlisted documentary from Galeforce Films; Eloise Millard (2018) is on the BBC Elevate scheme and Toni Arenyeka (2019) is on BBC Studios’ AP Accelerator Programme; Poppy Goodheart (2013) was selected for Sheffield Doc/Fest’s AP Archive One Minute Film Competition 2022, with her short film, Women & Girls; Joanna Suchomska (2021) had her short doc, MATKA/POLKA selected for Hastings Women’s Film Festival 2022; and, Ben McGeorge-Henderson (2015), who was part of the production team behind Grierson and RTS award-winning Drowning in Plastic and Meat: A Threat to our Planet?, is now working as a Development Producer at BBC Studios Documentary Unit.

Grierson DocLab is supported by Blueberry Creatives, Clear Cut Pictures, Talented People, The Talent Manager and The Kit Room, as well as a various independent production companies. Examples of 2022 Grierson DocLab sponsors include BBC Studios, Blast! Films, Dragonfly TV, The Garden, Lightbox, Minnow Films, Netflix, Plimsoll Productions, Raw TV, Rogan Productions, Twenty Twenty, Wall to Wall, Wise Owl Films (All3Media) and Zinc Media.

To apply for a place on this year’s Grierson DocLab, further details and the online application form can be found at The closing date for applications is 5pm, Friday 24 February 2022.

The Grierson DocLab In Focus schemes, run in partnership with Netflix, will open for applications in the summer of 2023.


Jon Creamer

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