BBC Natural History Unit Wants PhDs – Deadline Imminent

It’s the sort of opportunity I know some of you would give your eye teeth for – the BBC are looking for PhD biologists with potential as onscreen contributors for their radio, TV and web content. It’s not a guarantee of work, and it’s not linked to a specific project in production or development, but their aim is “to explore a pool of potential on screen talent”.

You must have a PhD (and preferably several years of research experience – post-docs very welcome) in a biological science which has a firm link to natural history – they suggest zoology, ecology or animal behaviour.

I’ve only just been told about it but the deadline’s the 8th December, so take a deep breath and get started on your application. This must consist of :

  • A CV including details of your academic qualifications, field experience and any previous media work. A strong postgraduate academic background is essential.
  • A DVD taster/showreel of yourself. (You do have one of these in your drawer, don’t you? Get filming now!)
  • A single side of A4 describing why you want to be a presenter, what natural history stories or concepts you’d be passionate about presenting, and why.

The DVD should be a max of 5 minutes long and can feature “anything you like that you think shows your onscreen communications skills. We’re not going to be judging these on production standard, we’ll be looking at your performance.” [Yeah, yeah – others may think that postgrads are high brow intellectuals, but we know what you’re thinking…]


In return, successful applicants will be invited to a further selection day. They also say they will make every effort to respond to all applicants, even if they’re unsuccessful. However, they are “only interested in hearing from individuals who meet the criteria specified and cannot assist with applications from people looking for opportunities for presenting in other genres.”

If this is the one you’ve been waiting for, send your application to

  • Sally Cryer, BBC Natural History Unit, Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2LR