Search for writer to create climate-change TV drama

Mon, 08 Mar 2021 10:18:00 GMT
Experienced writers are being urged to apply for a unique PhD opportunity
Experienced writers are being urged to apply for a unique PhD opportunity

Glasgow Caledonian University has launched a search for a scriptwriter to create a climate-change drama inspired by The West Wing. 

Experienced writers are being urged to apply for a PhD that will produce a commercially credible script highlighting some of the major challenges facing the world today. 

The project, which will aim to encourage viewers to discuss themes from the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, has been launched in the build-up to COP-26 in Glasgow. 

GCU is home to the UK’s only full-time master’s degree that is focused on the writing of television drama. 

Dr Catriona Miller, senior lecturer in MA TV Fiction Writing, said: "Richard Curtis recently said shows like The West Wing and The Thick of It give people a reason to talk about politics - but they don't give a frame of reference for climate change.​ 

"Disaster movies are fine but who can stop a tidal wave? It doesn't help people change their behaviour or understand climate change. 

"Drama has a huge capacity to start conversations. How can we use drama to communicate science effectively? What is the most effective way of getting these messages across?" 

The three-year fully-funded PhD is open to writers with industry experience and an academic background. Candidates will also be expected to produce a dissertation as well as a completed script. 

Dr Miller added: "We want someone who is already a writer, preferably with industry experience, because we're looking for an industry-ready script at the end of it. 

"I hope the idea that comes forward will have the potential to become a long-running series or at least run to multiple seasons." 

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals address climate change, poverty, inequality, environmental degradation, peace and justice.  

GCU is one of the only universities in the world to base its research strategy on the 17 goals. 

Applicants for the PhD are being asked to submit a research proposal in the first instance. For further details and information about how to apply visit Find a PhD's website or email c.miller@gcu.ac.uk. The deadline for applications is March 23. 

GCU's MA TV Fiction Writing is now in its 13th year. Graduates from the course have worked on some of Britain’s most popular long-running shows, including EastEnders, Casualty, and Holby City.​