Write to Research Lab

Supported by Wellcome Trust, the Write to Research Lab is a rare and exciting  opportunity for talented screenwriters and writer/directors to develop story ideas by immersing themselves in the world of biomedical research during Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF).

Six experienced female screenwriters were selected to connect and collaborate with experts, be inspired by the latest scientific developments, and explore future film ideas.

Building on the success of the 2015 Idea Lab, this Lab covered some of the major topics in contemporary life science, and exposed participants to the cutting edge research that is analysing our minds, changing our bodies, and shaping our world.

This day of discussions ended with the forum being opened out to a wider number of invited filmmakers who were attending EIFF. A small number of addition filmmakers were able to sign up and join the discussion, chaired by Kate Leys who looked back at the headlines from the days, including stories and anecdotes. The audience was invited to question and comment on the discussions which included looking at connections, how science and stories work together and what it is that we understand about the processes of finding a story. Find our more on our Industry Events page

The Lab provided writers with:

  • Opportunities to meet scientists and researchers and explore their work

  • Explorations of how collaborations and conversations with researchers can inspire stories in film

  • Opportunities to discuss and develop story ideas

  • A chance to discuss film ideas with the Wellcome Trust and explore potential development funding 


Confirmed Writers:

Bola Agbaje
Zinnie Harris
Deborah Haywood
Rachel Hirons
Morag McKinnon
Debs Paterson
Penny Woolcock

Confirmed Researchers:

Mhairi Aitken
Mar Carmena
Abigail Marks
Jackie Maybin
Pam Ramsay
Szu-Han Wang



About the partners

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. We support bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine. As part of its strategy for engaging audiences, the Trust runs a programme of activities which connect writers and film-makers with biomedical science and humanities research to inspire future stories which explore the human condition.

The Beltane Public Engagement Network (Beltane) is a network for people interested in making academic research accessible to a wide variety of audiences. Beltane are providing access to the best researchers in the region and facilitating access to behind-the-scenes at the research labs. The Beltane is supported by four Edinburgh universities: the University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Napier University and Queen Margaret University. 


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