The Ideas Lab offers a fantastic opportunity for talented UK-based writers and writer/directors to benefit from access to scientific research to help develop ideas and projects.

Up to eight selected screenwriters will each receive an award of £1000 and will be invited to attend three events based in high end research labs across the UK.

The idea is to build connections between the worlds of film and science through access to the newest thinking and ideas, and to the scientists and researchers leading their fields.  The selected writers will be offered access to some of the most exciting and inspiring research being carried out across the country and will have the chance to discuss what it means to be in a world of constant scientific development, and the impact that science has on our lives.

Until now this programme has been restricted to one screenwriter-in-residence.  The current recipient, Nicole Taylor, has spent the past year exchanging thoughts and ideas with researchers from the four Edinburgh Universities, and has thoroughly appreciated the unparalleled access to science the residency has offered her.

Who Can Apply:

To be eligible to attend, writers/directors must:

  • Be a UK-based screenwriter or writer/director
  • Have an established track record of film or TV screenwriting and be actively working in this area.
  • Have had one feature film or feature length TV drama produced.
  • Have flexibility between September 2018 – August 2019 to be able to commit to the programme and research centre visits



The deadline for expressions of interest is 5pm on Friday 14th September 2018. Participants will be notified by Friday 28th September.



Travel and accommodation (where required) for visits to research centres will be covered by EIFF.

About the partners

Wellcome exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. We’re a global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. We support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations, and spark debate.

The Beltane Public Engagement Network (Beltane) is a network for people interested in making academic research accessible to a wide variety of audiences. Beltane are providing access to the best researchers in the region and facilitating access to behind-the-scenes at the research labs. The Beltane is supported by four Edinburgh universities: the University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Napier University and Queen Margaret University.