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Annual Conference Awards 2017

A series of awards for the presenters, thinkers and contributors who make the biggest impact.

Finalists for the following categories were announced at the close of Impact 2017 on 15 March. Winners were revealed at the MRS Excellence Awards lunch on 9 June.

Sponsored by Hannelius Recruitment

WINNER - Peter Totman, Jigsaw Research, for The post-Brexit divide: dispatched from the front line

What the judges said: "In what could have been a potentially divisive session, Peter chaired with a blend of authority, charm and knowledge – combined with the necessary neutrality. His session was composed and sequenced beautifully, allowing all sides of the evolving Brexit story to be told, to a clearly partisan audience (as evidenced by the universal raising of hands on voting behaviour, and Peter’s ongoing quest for a “Qually Brexiteer”). “We are the Establishment”, we heard and perhaps realised. The narrative is “British Comedy or even Tragedy” we were told and understood (as Brits). The divide is real or fictional, we debated (whilst being correctly prompted to challenge assumptions). Ultimately, with Peter, his speakers’ intelligent inputs, and the session’s overall rounded view on Brexit, we came away surprisingly upbeat, with the future offering a renewed United Kingdom built on the common ground of the Best of British (market research)."

FINALIST - Fran Cassidy, Cassidy Media Partnership, for Social media: now that's what I call smart targeting

FINALIST - Sinead Jefferies, Chime Insight and Engagement, for Nudge or hint? Is behaviour change going far enough?

Sponsored by the New Fieldwork Company

WINNER - Betty Adamou, Research Through Gaming, for Fashion design and sustainability through ResearchGames

What the judges said: "Articulate and engaging, Betty delivered a wonderful combination of passionate storytelling and content with credibility. Her palpable enthusiasm was matched with content that allowed the audience to learn from her experiences. In sharing the gritty detail, allowing us a window into her world, she found that great balance between being thought provoking yet tangible. You might not want to repeat what she does in your world, but you’d certainly benefit from adopting her principles."

FINALIST - Stephanie Gaydon, 2CV, for Report it to stop it: how research addressed the hidden problem of unwanted sexual behaviour on public transport

FINALIST - Billie Ing, Ipsos, for Sensory immersion as a catalyst for innovation

FINALIST - Michaela Rhode, BritainThinks, for Weighing in on the great weight debate

Sponsored by QuenchTec

WINNER - Lisa Edgar, The Big Window, Leslie Sopp, Financial Conduct Authority and their interviewee Wendy Mitchell, who is living with and blogging about dementia, for The greys matter: through the mind of Wendy - living with dementia and dealing with financial services

What the judges said: "A truly unique conference moment with not only an incredibly salient and thought provoking contribution, but also a very moving one. Lisa and Wendy were both incredible in the way they informed us of issues facing dementia sufferers trying to deal with financial service organisations, while Leslie provided vital context from the FCA’s perspective. After seeing hundreds of sessions at Conference over the years, this is one of the few we will never forget and we suspect most others attending felt the same."

FINALIST - Dame Jil Matheson, former statistician of the United Kingdom, for her contribution to Measuring the public mood

FINALIST - Peter Totman (chair), Jigsaw Research, Cordelia Hay, BritainThinks, Tom Ewing, System1 and Catherine Hunt, Prime Minister's Office & Cabinet Office Communications, for their session The post-Brexit divide: dispatched from the front line

Sponsored by Razor Research

WINNER - Ali Moore, Resource London, and Jon Cohen, Kindling, for Just one thing: getting young Londoners to recycle

What the judges said: "This was an excellent case study of insight driving behaviour change strategy, expertly presented by Ali and Jon. Their qualitative research method uncovered insights about consumer attitudes and behaviours which have changed accepted wisdom on recycling. The presentation was clear and visual and made great use of video selfies, bringing the world of the research participants into the conference room. Both presenters were confident, passionate and inspiring, and took us on a step-by-step journey from research question to insight, action and impact."

FINALIST - Catherine Hunt, Prime Minster's Office & Cabinet Office Communications, for The public speaks - how do we respond?

FINALIST - Jo Parry, Department for Transport, and Sidi Lemine, BAMM, for Driven to distraction: aligning the team on the road ahead

FINALIST - Deb Sleep, Engage Research, for Do blondes have more fun?


WINNER - Bianca Wilson, Imperial College London, who was not a speaker but a delegate who the judges felt raised some of the most pertinent questions throughout the conference

What the judges said: "It’s easy to say we should evolve our conventional thinking, it’s another thing actually doing so. Bianca articulately and eloquently challenged the speakers on numerous occasions: most memorably, during a discussion on the singularity of perspective, and underrepresentation of gender and ethnic diversity within market research. If we are to be the industry that gives power to the voices of the people we research, we should be doing just that – for the diverse voices, opinions and people that make up our world. Bianca was confident, astute and thought-provoking for both speakers and audience alike. We look forward to seeing her on the MRS stage one day!"

FINALIST - Catherine Hunt, Prime Minister's Office & Cabinet Office Communications, for bravely playing the voice of the Brexit voter in The post-Brexit divide: dispatches from the front line

FINALIST - Dr Dan Nunan, Birkbeck, University of London, for his debate generating paper The declining use of the term 'market research'

The Judges

Quentin Ashby, Join the Dots

Victoria Maxey, Illuminas

Darren Mark Noyce, SKOPOS

Chris Paxton, The Leading Edge

Mark Speed, xSpeediency

Danielle Todd, Relish Research

Louise Vinter, Penguin Random House

Judith Wardle, MRS Fellow

Michael Webley, Tesco

Event highlights

Shortlisted awards can claim