With one week to go until the entry deadline for this year’s MRS Awards, my phone line is hotting-up with would be winners looking for reassurance that they are on the right track.

The criteria and submission guidelines for each category should tell you everything you need to know, so make sure you’ve read and understood them before you start, but here are the answers to some frequently asked questions that might help:


Unless specifically stated in the criteria, there are no timeframes in which work needs to have been carried out in order to be eligible. The judges are looking for effective research, and they understand it takes time to collect the evidence to prove that what you did for the client really paid off.

Measurable results

You’ll do better if you include metrics that show your research had a successful impact on the client’s bottom-line or decision-making. Encourage the client to share these, they can always be redacted before publishing if they are commercially sensitive.


MRS and our media partner Warc will publish shortlisted submissions after the winners are announced in December. If you are not a finalist, you will not be published. Finalists will have roughly a month to re-submit a redacted version of their submission for publishing if necessary, but remember one of the aims of the MRS Awards is to add to the knowledge bank of the sector so try to keep as much of the original version as possible.


Telling people they haven’t been successful is not easy, especially when you know how close they’ve come. The standard of the entries we receive is generally excellent, so when the judges are choosing between them it sometimes comes down to the smallest things that set them apart. You only have a few words to tell your story – make every single one work for you; facts, figures, evidence. Think of the Just A Minute rules: no hesitation, repetition or deviation.

Oh, and remember, there’s no category for Best Excuse for an Extension. The judges don’t look kindly on submissions that get to them late!

Good luck!

Submit your entries for the MRS Awards 2021 by 4pm on Monday 5 July. Finalists will be announced at the beginning of October and the winners will be revealed on 6 December.


By John Bizzell, MRS Events & Awards Manager

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