The MRS Annual Conference Awards encourage the enthusiastic participation of research practitioners, commissioners and end-users at Impact 2019. A panel of judges reviewed all the content presented on 12-13 March looking for original and engaging presentations, new methodological, commercial and cultural ideas, exciting new talent and hands-on learning through delegate participation in workshops.

The winners will be announced at the MRS Excellence Awards on 7 June.

BEST CHAIR sponsored by Hannelius Recruitment

  • Fran Cassidy

What the judges said: “Fran chaired this session with consummate skill and had clearly prepared with the panel in advance because she prompted the client panellists about topics of interest and drew out specific examples to add colour to the debate. We were all kept on our toes and Fran ensured a highly participative session on this important subject.”

  • Catherine Crump

What the judges said: “Catherine was the glue that brought this well thought-through session together. Her role as facilitator, connector and presenter brought the content alive and the audience into the conversation in a seamless manner. Catherine’s work in advance and on the day to find the key connections was clear, facilitating an excellent session overall.”

  • Caroline Florence

What the judges said: “A deft chairing of three excellent papers that highlighted the pioneering work being done by organisations reading and influencing complex human behaviour. Caroline led the Q and A with aplomb too, ensuring a wide range of interesting questions (Slido and real time) for all the presenting teams.”

  • Danny Wain

What the judges said: “Danny chaired this extremely well-conceived (and planned) session with creative flair. The flow of the three presentations which covered diverse industries detoured from the norm and had been imbued with energy, which held the audience’s attention to the very end. The session concluded on an animated note with a strong summary of take-outs.”

BEST NEWCOMER sponsored by the New Fieldwork Company

  • Olly Robinson

What the judges said: “Olly translated a complex and technical subject into an interesting, accessible, and informative presentation. He impressed with his depth of understanding of the subject matter and ability to respond comprehensively to some challenging audience questions.”

  • Kate Skivington

What the judges said: “Kate stood out for her composure, charisma and ability to manage a room full of rowdy participants. Her use of props and clues tied the whole session back to how we could implement immersive techniques in our work and she facilitated a lively and open discussion.”

  • Judith Suttrup

What the judges said: “Judith’s presentation showed how new technology can be applied to answer complex methodological challenges whilst also ensuring the research speaks to a client’s needs. It was an excellent example of innovation done in a considered and effective manner.”

  • Rachel Westwood

What the judges said: “Rachel was composed and confident in her presentation style, clearly expressing great passion throughout the session for what was clearly a creative and interesting research project. She deftly handled questions from the audience.”

  • Charlotte Williams

What the judges said: “Charlotte gave a confident, engaging and insightful presentation. She showed how research helped Pan Macmillan develop an author branding strategy, identify new audiences, and determine where and how access them.”


  • Matt Allen and Antony Antoni forChicken Welfare: Making It Personal

What the judges said: “An unsettling but highly informative presentation on the suffering endured by many chickens in the global food production process. Sensitively handled and well-presented with some disturbing insights and uncomfortable food for thought for all who saw it (some may never eat chicken again).”

  • Matt Baker and Payam Ghamsari forPopshop – Always-On Client

What the judges said: “This paper outlined an innovative and compelling approach to product testing. Opening a pop-up shop in a retail location allowed the team to gain consumer reactions in a natural environment, to access their target audience in an engaging manner, and to involve and inspire the client team.”

  • Andy Davidson and Gregory Morris for Unlocking Potential: How Insight Powered F1’s Growth

What the judges said: “A classic structure of objective… methodology… insight… impact… and so what… executed excellently. Andy and Gregory found the great balance between brevity and giving the audience the real detail behind their story, and weren’t afraid to share the actual insight and a clear case for business impact.”

  • Crawford Hollingworth and Lara McCullagh forThe Big Issue Facing ‘The Big Issue’

What the judges said: “This entertaining presentation demonstrated the practical application of behavioural economics, showing how it can be used to shift consumer behaviour in a challenging market. The presenters showed how research insights led to concrete business recommendations and to an uplift in sales and vendor engagement for the Big Issue.”


  • Tom Ewing and Lucy Davison for Murder at Marketing Manor: Who Killed Effectiveness?

What the judges said: “A session which showed that simple ideas done well can bring the best out of an audience. The session established an engaging premise and then allowed the audience to run with it to great effect.”

  • Dr Rachel Lawes, Jessica Herridge and Julian Vayne forChaos Magic: What Brands and Researchers Can Learn From Britain’s Occult Revival

What the judges said: “The Chaos Magic session enabled us to create some of our own magic and encouraged us to think about how brands are showing ‘magical thinking’ in their comms. We were bewitched!”

  • Kelly McKnight and Kate Skivington and their participants for Making Memories: Communicating Insights in the Experience Era

What the judges said: “Kelly and her team facilitated not just one but three totally unique immersive experiences that involved classical music, humming, a bespoke escape room and a final session that brought us back to how we can immerse clients in their insights.”

The judges were:

Fiona Blades FMRS, MESH Experience
Paul Child MMRS, Join the Dots
Philly Desai FMRS, Turnstone Research
Chloe Fowler CMRS, Razor Research
Curtis Jessop, NatCen
Victoria Maxey MMRS, Illuminas
Layla Northern MMRS, Reed Exhibitions
Mark Speed FMRS (Chair), xSpeediency
Michael Webley MMRS, Tesco


Best Presentation
(Formerly Best Presenter/Best Presented Paper)

2018 - Nathalie Gil, Matthew Warren-Bostrom and David Murray
2017 - Ali Moore and Jon Cohen
2016 – Ailean Mills and Marc Edwards
2015 – Laura Morris and Jemima Bird
2014 – Richard Wilson
2013 – Gemma Jones, Tim Jones and Robin Pharoah
2012 – Peter Dann
2011 – Bob Cook
2010 – Douglas Dunn and Debi Bester
2010 – Darren Cornish
2009 – Niels Schillewaert
2008 – Tom Ewing
2007 – Ray Poynter
2006 – Daniel Wain
2005 – Martyn Richards
2004 – James Parsons
2003 – Victoria Brooks
2002 – Flemming from Thygesen and Paul McGowan
2001 – David Smith and Andy Dexter
2000 – Mary Bard and Elaine Moore
1999 – Eamonn Santry
1998 – Richard E Kottler
1997 – Ken Parker and Trish Stuart
1996 – Mike Denny and Ian Wright
1995 – Sarah Blomfield and John Wicks
1994 – Nick Watkins
1993 – Cris Tarrant and Geoffrey Breeze
1992 – Gerry Hahlo
1991 – John Samuels, Simon Orton and Dominic McVey
1990 – Stella Hall and Jackie Katryniak
1989 – Monty Alexander and Virginia Valentine
1988 – John P Moran
1987 – Ian Croll and Christine Restall

Best Newcomer

2018 – Saskia Jones
2017 - Betty Adamou
2016 – Samantha Bond and Janneke Dobben
2015 – Andy Cooper
2014 – Matt Taylor
2013 – Giles Colborne
2012 – Victoria Guyatt
2011 – Gavin Holt
2010 – Doron Meyassed
2009 – Jamie Hamilton and Paul Dixon
2008 – Lisa Galarneau
2007 – Sinead Jefferies
2006 – Marie Laver
2005 – Luke Perry
2004 – James Holden
2003 – Nick Southgate
2002 – Penny Harwood and Caroline Davey
2001 – Darren Lewis and Bonny Mhlanga
2000 – Helen Trevaskis
1999 – Arno Hummerston

Best Session Chair

2018 – Betty Adamou
2017 - Peter Totman
2016 – Tim Britton
2015 – Deborah Mattinson for Poll of pollsters
2014 – Graeme Trayner for Ideas from the world of activism

Best Fringe Contribution

(Formerly Best Workshop)

2018 - Sven Hughes, Rachel Emms and David Balson for Who’s pulling your strings: An experiment in unconscious influence
2016 – Elina Halonen, Colin Strong, Nick Baker, Cat Wiles and Nick Bonney for Will curious computers replace curious minds?
2015 – Mary Coyne for Stop, breathe and be
2014 – Martin Gent and Lucy Morris for Stepping into our creativity
2013 – Jen del Carlo and Catherine Starkey for The devil is in the detail
2012 – Roy Langmaid for Don't tell me, show me
2011 – John Griffiths and Joanna Chrzanowska for Join the great crowdsourcing experiment

Best Overall Contribution to Conference

(Formerly Special Contribution to Conference/Chairman’s Award)

2017 - Lisa Edgar, Leslie Sopp and Wendy Mitchell
2016 – Brian Tarran, Cordelia Hay, Tom Ewing, Tom Mludzinski, Nick Moon, Alberto Nardelli and Orlando Wood
2015 – Elina Halonen, Karen Schofield, Kelly McKnight, Andy Cooper, Jo Pabari, Noel Roychowdhury and Daniel Tralman
2014 – Caroline Hayter for curating the session An adventure into the unknown
2013 – Mark Allen, Lucy Baldwin, Alice Ellen, Chloe Fowler, Jon Hildrew and Owen McAleer
2012 – Paul Child, Victoria Guyatt, Katie Kaylor, Jerry Latter, Sara Sheridan and Naomi Stoll
2011 – Simon Chadwick
2010 – Peter Duffy, Michelle Harrison, Peter Mouncey, James Turner and Stephen Sackur
2009 – Marc Brenner
2008 – Jo-Ann Foo, Liz Judson, James Morris, Ray Poynter, Rich Shaw and Kat Slater
2007 – Ray Poynter
2006 – Marc Brenner
2005 – Luke Perry
2004 – Anjul Sharma
2003 – Andy Dexter and Virginia Valentine
2002 – Rachel Lawes
2002 – Ken Parker
2001 – Vicky Stokes, Sophie Russell-Ross and Pauline Farrelly
2000 – Alexandra Dury, Robin Gregory and Jim Dunn
1999 – Ann Binnie and Rosemary Cowan

Best Session

2013 – Amanda Anderton, Ella Fryer-Smith, Neil Griffiths (Keynote), Darren Hanley, Caroline Hayter (Chair), Anthony Martin and Joshua Sorene forTales of the Unexpected
2012 – Gerald Bruce-Roberts, Paul Child, Debrah Harding (Chair), Melanie Johnston, Mark Long and Tom Peck for The Business of Change
2011 – Martin Filz, Philip Garland, Steven Gittelman, Martin Oxley (Chair) and Joel Williams for Online Research

Best Paper

2012 – Lisa Edgar and David Bunker
2011 – Joel Williams
2010 – Orlando Wood
2009 – Sheila Keegan
2008 – Fiona Blades and Ana Medeiros
2007 – Robert Heath & Paul Feldwick
2007 – Caroline Vogt & Stuart Knapman
2006 – Katja Maggio-Muller and Malcolm Evans
2005 – Martyn Richards
2004 – Steve Wills
2003 – Anthony Tasgai
2002 – Flemming from Thygesen and Paul McGowan
2001 – Malcolm Evans and Michael Harvey
2000 – Andrew Ehrenberg and Rachel Kennedy
1999 – Gordon Pincott and Terri Anderson
1998 – Nick Long
1997 – Frances Yelland and Caryl Varty
1996 – Paul Feldwick
1995 – Monty Alexander, Max Burt and Andrew Collinson
1994 – Wendy Gordon
1993 – Drusilla Gabbott
1992 – Max Blackston
1991 – Paul Feldwick, Sarah Carter and Louise Cooke
1990 – Wendy Hayward and John Rose
1989 – David Smith and Mary Bard
1988 – Sarah O’Brien and Rosemary Ford
1987 – Peter Menneer
1986 – John Chandler and Mike Owen
1985 – Colin Bowring
1984 – Linda Fuller
1983 – Fred Johnson
1982 – Neale Pharoah
1981 – David Seman, Chris Blamires and Rory Morgan
1980 – Michael Leech
1979 – William Schlackman
1978 – Martin Simmons
1974 – F J Johnson
1973 – W A Twyman
1972 – A S C Ehrenberg
1970 – P Dillon-Malone
1969 – J A Lunn
1968 – N J S Clemens and C Thornton

Best New Thinking

2010 – John Griffiths
2008 – Fiona Blades and Ana Medeiros
2007 – Tim Macer, Mark Pearson & Fabrizio Sebastiani
2006 – Anjali Puri
2005 – Fiona Blades, Claydon Heeley Jones Mason, & Stephen Phillips
2004 – John Griffiths, Siamack Salari, Greg Rowland and John Beasley-Murray
2003 – Mark Earls
2003 – Mark Oldridge
2002 – Virginia Valentine
2001 – Eric Willson and Tim Wragg
2000 – Virginia Valentine and Wendy Gordon
1999 – Andy Dexter and Gail Behan

Best Proactive thinking
(new for 2017)

2017 - Bianca Wilson

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