MRS continues to work hard across Government, representing the sector's interests in Covid-19 policy areas. We also continue to seek improvements in areas which we have lobbied for some time, including procurement.

Over the summer MRS has been liaising with the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) and the Government Communication Service/Cabinet Office about the Research Marketplace and how this might help to ease some of the challenges which have resulted from Covid-19 particularly the resumption of face to face research, and contract and payment terms. In response CCS has issued two blogs:

Part 1 - Researching after Covid-19: How to get your research plans back on track

Part 2 - Researching after Covid-19: Tips-for-commissioning new research in a sustainable way

New procurement opportunities are also now available. Earlier this week the Cabinet Office launched a tender for all of its qualitative research over the next two years (with an option to extend for up to two more years) to suppliers on the Research Marketplace Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS). This invitation to tender is only open to suppliers who are already registered on the Research Marketplace, against the services which match the filters applied by Cabinet Office. The procurement includes three lots - policy and narrative development research, communications research for general public audiences, and communications research for business audiences. Each lot will be awarded to a separate supplier. If you are a registered supplier on the Research Marketplace, please check your inbox or the CCS eSourcing tool to see if you've been invited to participate.

Cabinet Office will be adopting a two-stage process for assessing bids with the final awards being made in early October. The Insight and Evaluation Team at the Cabinet Office have committed to making this process as accessible, straightforward and transparent as possible, based upon MRS' procurement best practice recommendations.

In September the Cabinet Office also plan to launch an invitation to tender for a large proportion of its quantitative research, adopting a four-lot process to encourage participation from across the sector once more. The Cabinet Office are very keen to receive bids from across the sector, including from SMEs, and would like to encourage suppliers who are not yet part of the Research Marketplace to join it so that they are potentially able to bid for this opportunity. MRS will share more details once we have them.

Get the latest MRS news

Our newsletters cover the latest MRS events, policy updates and research news.