This FAQ page contains information primarily aimed at prospective Multitrack fellows. We hope it is useful, but if you are seeking information not contained here, please do drop us an email.
When is the next Multitrack fellowship?
The next fellowship is currently planned for autumn 2022. Applications will open in the spring of 2022. To get the latest news on that, check back on this website, follow us on Twitter or sign up to our newsletter.
Is this fellowship paid?
Yes, fellows are paid at the Living Wage or London Living Wage, depending on location (pro rated for any fellows who choose to do the fellowship part time).
Fellows are paid directly by the companies they work for during the work placement.
Who is this fellowship for?
Multitrack is an entry level fellowship for people who are from groups that are at a disadvantage entering the audio industry based on any of the following factors:
- Socioeconomic background
For background, OFCOM does an annual report called “Diversity and equal opportunities in radio”, which measures diversity among broadcasters using the protected characters set out in the Equalities Act 2010. The 2019 report found that within the UK radio industry: “6% of employees define as having a minority ethnic background” (this is the terminology used by OFCOM) and “6% of people self-define as disabled”.
The report also noted that “Barriers of social class and privilege can prevent the widest pool of people from being able to fulfil their potential, regardless of their background.”
The way we define “entry level” is that if you’re applying for the fellowship, you should have done no more than approximately 2 months of paid audio work in the last 12 months. If you’re already earning the majority of your income from working in audio, this fellowship probably isn’t for you. There is no limit on the amount of voluntary or unpaid experience you may have.
What does an audio producer do?
Being an audio producer involves work like:
- Coming up with ideas for podcasts and radio programmes
- Doing research to inform content and identify contributors
- Doing the organisational and administrative aspects of audio production, including transcribing audio, organising files, creating schedules, booking guests, arranging travel, etc.
- Interviewing people
- Recording audio in studios or on location
- Using editing software to edit podcasts and radio programmes together
- Doing sound design
A producer’s role can include all or some of these things. While some producers also host or present programmes, we want to make sure you know that this fellowship is aimed at the production side of podcasting and radio. So if you’re primarily aiming to become a presenter, this fellowship may not be right for you.
What are some examples of the type of experience you look for from applicants?
As we’ve said, this is an entry level scheme, aimed at people who are not currently earning a substantial proportion of their income from working in audio. However, we look for people who can demonstrate their passion for audio, through things they have made or worked on.
Here are a few examples of the types of thing you might have done, which would make you a great fit for this fellowship:
- Produced a podcast of your own
- Helped someone else produce a podcast
- Worked on an oral history project
- Volunteered at a radio station
- Hosted your own podcast or radio show
- Recorded interviews with friends or family
- Made experimental soundscapes just for fun
- Started your own YouTube channel
- Made your own videos / vlogs
What does the fellowship entail?
Multitrack has three main elements, which you can read about below. The info here is based on the 2021 fellowship – there may be slight changes in future years, such as to the length of placements or number of companies fellows get to work with.
- Training and networking
- Commissioned work
Each fellow completes a two month work placement, split across two different production companies. The first month is spent at one production company, and fellows move to a different company for the second month. Although fellows mostly work at separate production companies, they come together regularly as a group for training and networking.
The following production companies were the hosts for the work placement part of the 2021 fellowship:
- Audio Always
- Chalk & Blade
- We Are Grape
- Little Dot Studios
- Reduced Listening
- Loftus Media
- Somethin’ Else
We work with our host companies to make sure Multitrack fellows are exposed to as many different aspects of the production process as possible, and that the fellowship offers really valuable opportunities to learn new skills. This may include sometimes shadowing producers or other staff members in their day to day work, as well as completing tasks and projects which will be assigned by managers and colleagues.
It’s important to remember that because this is an entry level fellowship, it’s likely the role will include a range of appropriate tasks for someone starting out in the industry – things like research, booking travel, transcribing audio, admin tasks, etc.
Training and networking
Once a week, there is a training session which all fellows attend together. The training sessions are provided by the production companies who are hosting fellows, as well as special guests such as independent producers and people from other production companies.
These sessions provide a chance to learn new skills, spend time with the other fellows, and network with a wide range of people from across the audio industry.
We aim to provide opportunities for fellows to produce professional audio work; for real commissions with broadcasters or publishers. The number of commissions we are able to provide directly through Multitrack may vary year on year.
In 2019, there were three BBC Radio 4 documentary slots provided by the BBC specifically for Multitrack fellows. In 2021, there were three BBC Radio 4 documentary slots and three BBC Radio 3 documentary slots being offered. All the fellows on the scheme are invited to pitch an idea. If your idea is chosen, you are supported and mentored through the process of making it. You are paid for this work (as a separate fee to your work placement payment) and get a producer credit. The production of these works will usually happen after the work placement has ended.
You can check out all three finished documentaries from the 2019 fellowship if you’d like to get an idea of the kind of work fellows have made previously:
- Pause the Plié, produced by Raymond Tannor
- Nsukka Is Burning, produced by Deborah Shorind
- Hip Hop’s Laughing Stock, produced by James Trice
What support do fellows get during the fellowship?
At each production company, fellows have a line manager from the company who helps assign them work, provides professional support, monitors their progress and acts as a contact for any work related queries. Each fellow is also assigned another colleague within the company, who is not their manager, but who they can go to with any questions, issues or other queries they’d prefer to ask a peer rather than a manager.
We also have a Fellow Coordinator who is part of the Multitrack team. They provide outside support and advice as needed during the fellowship. Fellows have a weekly check in with this person, and can also ask to speak to them as needed outside of this regular check in.
Is Multitrack a national scheme?
The companies offering placements as part of Multitrack 2021 were based in London and Manchester, with the majority of placements being based in London.
It has always been our ambition for Multitrack to operate in as many parts of the UK as possible. However, we can only offer places in locations where we have host companies signed up. We hope and plan to continue to expand the reach of the fellowship in 2022 and beyond.
If you own or work for an audio production company that might be able to offer a placement outside of London and Manchester, please do contact us. We would love to talk to you.
Do you need to be eligible to work in the UK to apply for this fellowship?
Yes – you do need to be eligible to work here in order to apply.
How many fellowship places are there?
The number of placements we’re able to offer depends on the number of host companies who sign up to be part of the fellowship. In 2019 we had six host companies and in 2021 we had nine. One of the companies offered two placements in 2021 year, which allowed us to create a total of ten fellowships that year. We hope to keep growing the number of placements in future years.
Is this a full-time or part-time fellowship?
Fellows have the choice to either be full or part-time. We flex the structure of the scheme to accommodate the needs of the fellows who are chosen. However, you will need to be available for the work placement element and training sessions for a consistent number of days (to be agreed) during the period of fellowship.
What support is available during the application process?
When we’re recruiting for the fellowship, our application form contains guidance for answering each of the questions. We recommend reading this guidance as you’re working on your answers.
We also run online information sessions and provide opportunities to speak to Multitrack alumni. This FAQ page will be expanded while applications are open to answer further questions around recruitment, and we are able to respond to queries over email (or via phone if appropriate) if an applicant requires any further support.
If you are facing any barriers in applying for this scheme, please get in touch with us. We want to make applications as accessible as possible for everyone.