Graduate Opportunity

Research & Development Graduate Scheme

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Job Introduction

Research & Development (BBC R&D) is part of BBC Design and Engineering and has a worldwide reputation in broadcast and media technology. Our research work is mainly on new technologies which are expected to be rolled out over a 1 to 5 year timescale and they require both in-depth theoretical knowledge and also a practical approach to potential deployment.

Working in Technology at the BBC

The most exciting thing about being a techie at the BBC, is that the work we do matters to millions of people!

Role Responsibility

BBC R&D is a unique employer. Rather than being driven by commercial aims, or by pure research, we are motivated by applying technology to benefit public service broadcasting – educating, informing and entertaining our audience.

We cover a very broad range of projects, from tools to create new forms of content using object-based media, immersive audio, AR and voice, through to ways of understanding how our audience interact with our services, and innovative ways of delivering content to a wide range of devices and diverse audience members.

As a Graduate R&D Engineer, you will get the opportunity to contribute to ideas for new projects: not just devising an elegant and creative solution to a given problem, but helping decide what problems to solve in the first place.

On our Graduate Scheme you will work on three 8-month projects with guidance from experienced engineering or scientific staff. Your training will include four weeks on residential courses at the BBC Academy Training Centre at Wood Norton, learning about broadcast technology and audio/video engineering.

You will add to your existing skills during your project work in diverse areas such as machine learning, user experience design, software engineering, networking or cloud computing, audio, video coding and computer vision.

At the end of the Graduate Scheme, you will do a three-month ‘mini placement’ in another area of the BBC, to help build contacts and get a better understanding of the wider business. After successfully completing the Scheme you can expect to be promoted to R&D Engineer and continue to develop your career by specialising in your area of interest. We also provide support for applying to become a Chartered Engineer.

We value diversity in our staff, as a creative opportunity to embrace, respond to and be relevant to the totality of the UK’s audiences, so we encourage applications from all genders and backgrounds.

You will not only be working with some of the world’s most highly-regarded technical experts in the fields of broadcast and media, but also with BBC programme makers, giving the role an exciting blend of technology and creativity. Recent projects included working with BBC Click to create their 1000th programme in an interactive form, developing an AR app to accompany the Civilisations series, working with Springwatch to automate the detection of interesting animal activity, and delivering binaural versions of Proms concerts. 

We have two labs – one in west London and one at MediaCity in Salford (near Manchester). Each lab covers a broad range of projects, and although you will have chosen one of these labs as your final base, you will be expected to spend 8 months during the Graduate programme working in the other lab, so that you get to know the people, facilities and projects in both. Each lab is multi-disciplinary, with engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians, physicists, user experience scientists, designers and web developers collaborating to design, create and evaluate new ways of serving our audience.

You will be encouraged to publish your work, including blog posts and academic papers, as well as sharing your enthusiasm at outreach events such as TeenTech and the Big Bang fair. The vast majority of our projects can be presented openly. We also collaborate widely with industry and academia, so you will be expected to travel within the UK and abroad, and you may also have the opportunity to study for a MSc or PhD as a part of your work.

As we are an applied R&D lab, an important part of the job is getting our ideas turned into real products, services and standards. We want people to have an entrepreneurial spirit – to think creatively about how to get our work adopted, to collaborate with companies to create products that use our ideas, and to work ‘hands on’ with technology and creative staff across the BBC to get our ideas used. Knowing that millions of people have enjoyed the result of your work is very rewarding.

Are you the right candidate?

You’ll have a minimum 1st, 2:1 or higher degree, by September 2020 in Electrical or Electronic Engineering, Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics, HCI, Data Science (or a closely-related subject) or a broad range of equivalent knowledge and experience.

Skills and interests that are particularly in demand across current R&D projects include software development (including Python, web services, C++/Linux/Javascript), IP networking, data science, machine learning, and behavioural science. However, most importantly, you will have the ability to pick up new skills quickly, and to be able to think broadly about problem spaces whilst also being able to delve into the technical details.

You will also have a practical mindset, and the energy to see your ideas though to being applied in the Real World. 
You will have a passion for what the BBC is about and the technologies needed to achieve it: production and delivery of media for public service, ranging from TV and radio through to online and mobile services and new forms of media such as Voice and AR.

You will have a track record in projects involving one or more of software, electronic engineering, data science, Human-Computer Interaction or behavioural science, gained through project work either as part of a relevant degree, extra-curricular activities or employment experience. You will also be a clear communicator, able to confidently discuss technical details whilst also being able to explain concepts to a non-technical audience. You will enjoy collaborating in teams of diverse people.

Package Description

We offer a very competitive starting salary of around circa £29,500 (outside London) or £34,000 (inside London).
You will also be eligible for the BBC’s defined contribution pension scheme, 25 days annual leave and a range of other benefits including:

  • An Employee Discount scheme
  • Cycle-to-Work scheme
  • Travel season ticket scheme.

We offer many flexible working possibilities, such as regular working-from-home and flexible start/end times (subject to project commitments), and the option to buy or sell up to 5 days of leave per year.

Part-time working (3 days/week or more) is also possible, although full-time attendance will be needed for the first 3 months due to training courses.

Please note that shortlisting will take place after the application closing date. You will find out the outcome of your application by February 2020.

About the BBC

We don’t focus simply on what we do we also care how we do it. Our values and the way we behave are important to us. You’ll be asked questions relating to the BBC Values as part of your application for this role.

The BBC is committed to building a culturally diverse workforce and therefore strongly encourages applications from underrepresented groups. We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals, regardless of their background.


How to Apply

Job ID Number: BBC/TP/164481/45199
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Opportunity Overview

  • January 6th, 2020
  • £29,500 or £34,000 (inside London) + benefits
  • 2:1 and above
  • London and Salford (Greater Manchester)
    (Show map)

Preferred Disciplines...

  • Data Science
  • Electrical
  • Electronic
  • Maths
  • Physics
  • Software

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