Grade: 5p base: Elstree Department

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Job Title: Story Researcher, Holby City

Grade: 5P
Base: Elstree
Department: Drama Production
Contract: 2 year Fixed Term Contract with 6 month probation period.


A job specification is a written statement of the essential characteristics of the job indicating duties, responsibilities, the degree of authority of the function, and the required knowledge, experience and personal attributes of the post-holder.


To support the Story Producer and Story Editor to deliver high quality, cost-effective drama within the framework of BBC Editorial Guidelines and Corporate objectives, under the leadership of the Series Producer and Executive Producer.

To ensure the factual content of Holby City's storylines is accurate through research.

To suggest new stories based on original research.

To assist the Story Editor in generating and writing clear, creative story ideas and storylines of the highest standard, consistent with Holby City.
To provide essential administrative support to the Story Department, with responsibility for the successful management of all administration of Story Conferences and Storylining Workshops.
To ensure that the online team promoting Holby City through the BBC website have the necessary information to do so.
To contribute to the effective management of script continuity across the editorial team.

The post-holder will report to the Story Producer, work to the Story Editor on a daily basis, and work in close conjunction with the Script Editors, Writers and Producers.


The post is office-based, and in general, normal office hours will apply. However, a flexible approach to working hours may be occasionally required.

Television drama production can involve long and unpredictable work patterns, and pressure to meet tight schedules. There must be no restriction on the ability of the post-holder to travel within the UK or abroad, subject to the BBC's Conditions of Service Code of Practice and equal opportunities policies.

Stay up to date with current affairs and medical issues particularly as they pertain to NHS. 

Originate story ideas based on this research or feed relevant information into storylines.

Carry out research at the behest of the Story Producer and the Story Department.

Read and master all storyline material and to identify and report on possible areas of research.
Check existing storylines for accuracy and edit storyline material in line with research.

Write clear and concise research documents.

Research issues arising from story and present comprehensive reports on every side of the argument.
Where necessary, use alternative research methods and resources to attain accurate and detailed research in a timely fashion and to tight deadlines.
Establish new, relevant and interesting research contacts to enhance the dramatic potential and currency of storylines, including research trips where appropriate.
Establish and maintain contact with experts, practitioners, and with people whose life experience is relevant.
Contribute creative solutions to research and story problems, as part of the Story team.

Support the Story Editor to create and write clear and concise Story documents, with responsibility for updating character states of play.

Support the Story Editor in writing storylines, when required.

Read Story Beats, First Draft and Rehearsal scripts and raise any issues pertaining to storyline research or credibility.

Stay across character continuity, contributing to the management of continuity across scripts, alongside all other members of the editorial team.

Write character arcs, states of play, publicity and character biographies and, where appropriate, other editorial material to support the story department.

Source and provide the team responsible for Holby City with information on incoming cast members, including but not limited to biographies, images and character interviews.

Undertake all necessary administrative tasks for the Story Department, including helping organise department meetings, Story Conference, third-party attendance at Story meetings; and processing third-party contributor payments.

Manage all administrative aspects of regular Story Conferences (including booking room, travel, accommodation and catering for contributors; provision and use of any audio-visual equipment required by contributors and overseeing the smooth running of all arrangements on the day)

Support the story producer and story editor in preparation for story conference, story lining and other story meetings, and, where appropriate, during the meetings.

Liaise with Casualty with regards to big serial research issues, also updating the Holby / Casualty chart for continuity.

Liaise with the script department, and other production departments on issues of design, costume and scheduling, to answer story queries where appropriate.

To be aware of the full extent of the financial and purchasing authority of the post and to ensure that this authority is exercised in accordance with Network Television and BBC financial arrangements.
BBC Television embraces the general statements of policy issued by the BBC with respect to the health, safety and welfare of employees and endeavours to provide a safe working environment. All staff have safety responsibilities and must be made aware of them by providing appropriate information and suitable training. Staff must participate in appropriate training activities and refresher courses. Further information on Drama Department safety policy arrangements and related issues is available from your local Health & Safety Adviser.

Drama Script Editing, Story Editing, Storylining or Script Research experience.

A strong knowledge of and a passion for, Holby City.
An interest in factual research, combined with a strong sense of story.

A broadly based knowledge of and a familiarity with conventional and specialised sources of information and research techniques.

The ability to interpret Editorial intentions, and to contribute to the generation of ideas and the resolution of story problems.
The ability to handle confidential information with tact and sensitivity.

Experience of establishing and maintaining office and administration systems.

Familiarity with office and information technology.
Excellent communication skills.

An ability to write clear, concise and unambiguous prose.

Strong awareness of editorial policy and sound editorial judgment.

Resilience and stamina sufficient to sustain performance and generate creative ideas when under pressure from tight schedules and a demanding workload.

Interpersonal and communication skills sufficient to establish and maintain effective working relations with all members of the Production team, cast and crew, and to establish productive relationships with contacts external to the BBC.

The ability to adopt a flexible approach, manage a variable workload and adapt to the different styles of the various Producers and Production teams, and to work simultaneously on different stories.

Effective time-management and organisational skills and the ability to exercise initiative, self-start and work independently.

Enthusiasm, resilience and stamina to sustain performance when under pressure from tight schedules, deadlines and conflicting priorities.

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