Wellcome Trust and BBC placement scheme
This scheme is designed to give Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellows first-hand experience of the broadcast media environment and an understanding of the development, production and commissioning process of TV programmes.
Fellows are able to participate in the scheme during the third or fourth year of their Fellowship and can apply for additional subsistence funding during the placement. All eligible candidates will be assessed through a competitive application process.
The scheme will:
- broaden Fellows’ transferable skills, in particular their communication skills and enhance their CVs
- increase Fellows’ understanding of the broadcast sector to enable more effective collaboration between academia and the broadcaster sector
- provide researchers with development opportunities to improve on the skills which are required to work with the broadcast sector
- develop a cadre of people able to work at the interface of medical sciences and the broadcast industry
- allow Fellows to build valuable contacts with TV producers
- contribute to knowledge and programming within the BBC science unit.
The scheme is open to all Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellows who are in the third or fourth year of their Fellowship.
Candidates will need to be able to take four weeks out of the research to undertake the placement.
Activity of interns
During the four week placement, Fellows will be asked to contribute to the development and production of one of the BBC's science programmes. Programmes may include 'Bang Goes the Theory', 'Horizon', the science strand of the 'One Show' or any BBC science series.
Over the placement, Fellows will be asked to carry out a variety of tasks. The Wellcome Trust will liaise with the BBC prior to each placement to set an appropriate schedule of work for each Fellow.
Tasks may include:
- research and story-finding for development and production
- working with the development team to come up with new programme ideas
- attending and assisting during filming days
- providing research expertise during the editing process
- carrying out picture, film and archive research
- writing treatments for programme ideas for consideration by commissioners
- talent-finding for contributors and presenters
- maintaining links with a variety of scientific institutes
- fact-checking of scripts.
Structure of scheme
The four-week placements will be full-time positions based at the BBC science unit in London. The placement must be carried out during the period of the grant.
Further financial support to cover travel or subsistence costs will be decided on a case-by-case basis, up to a maximum of £2000 per placement and subject to agreement by the Trust.
Each Fellow will be allocated a supervisor from among the BBC staff who will provide line management and guidance during the placement.
Up to three placements will be available in four-week time blocks from January 2013 to December 2013. Candidates should indicate when they would be available to undertake a placement, taking into consideration their ongoing research responsibilities.
Candidates are asked to supply:
- A completed application form [Word 44KB].
- A short covering letter briefly describing why they wish to undertake a placement at the BBC, the benefits they think it will bring and how the placement will fit into their research programme.
- A short article of no more than 500 words, reviewing their favourite and least favourite science TV programmes.
Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview with a selection panel of Wellcome Trust staff.
Applications should be emailed by 28 January 2013 to Iain Dodgeon at the Wellcome Trust: email@example.com.