The Researcher is the person that conducts research in relation to a given project. Researchers gather, validate, and organise information for film and television productions. This could involve anything from historical research to ensure that a film set in a bygone age is depicted accurately (i.e. period costumes, architecture etc.), or the examination of the archives, videos and photographic material utilised in documentaries up to finding out who owns a location so that permission can be sought to film there. Researchers work across all genres of television production, including news, sport, current affairs, documentaries and factual programs, light entertainment, children's, situation comedies, soaps or serial dramas, and one-off dramas. They originate or develop program ideas, drawing on their knowledge and understanding of industry requirements, and present their findings to decision makers. They must understand, and work within relevant legislation and regulations. They may be employed by broadcasters, or work on a freelance basis.

Job/task description

  • Work closely with the producer, director, presenter and writer in order to examine the research requirements of a given project
  • Sometimes producing original program ideas for consideration by producers, broadcasters, production companies or other decision makers
  • Collate and assess relevant information from various sources and different languages within time and cost limits, and ensure that legal, compliance and copyright requirements are met
  • Assess locations for suitability and cost, taking various factors into account including the need for any permissions and licenses
  • Presenting information clearly, concisely and coherently, both in writing and verbally to decision makers
  • Understanding of the decision makers' needs
  • Source and suggest suitable contributors, demonstrating how their input fits into each production
  • Maintain up-to-date contact lists