As part of the 75th anniversary celebrations of MRS we want to spotlight the unsung heroes of our sector.

Our Research Heroes programme will celebrate individuals who would not necessarily qualify for our normal professional recognitions, such as Fellowships, but who have given exceptional service to the sector or helped others during the pandemic.  We want to recognise Research Heroes across the sector, whether they be client or agency side, who have done something amazing for their colleagues or stakeholders.  

Nominate a Research Hero:

Send us a nomination, which should include your nominee’s name, the reason you are nominating them and a picture (if at all possible). Our Heroes Judges will decide who goes forward to be acclaimed in Research Live and receive a special certificate to recognise their contribution. We will announce the awards in 3 tranches in summer, autumn and winter.

We believe that there are so many unsung heroes working in the sector, so why not give them the recognition they deserve? Send your nomination to:

Deadline for the first round of Research Hero submissions is 15 May. There will be two further rounds in early autumn and winter 2021.


  • Work in research, insight or analytics (can include support and operations employees)
  • Have done one or more of the following:
  1. Have contributed during 2020/21 to make a difference in research, or to support colleagues and co-workers or the community in this difficult time
  2. Have given consistent service to the sector for which they cannot be recognised with a professional award such as a Fellowship
  3. Have forwarded the cause of research, or the campaigns that are most important to the sector such as quality, diversity and sustainability. 
  • Must receive 80% of approval from responding judges

Winners will receive a Research Hero certificate and appear in Research Live.

Research heroes panel:

  • Gemma Bumpsteed, Unilever
  • Kenny Imafidon, Clearview Research
  • Lucy Watts, HSBC
  • Jennifer Perry, Respondi 
  • Rachel Lawes, Lawes Consulting
  • Matt Roberts, F1
  • Dr Parves Khan, Pearson
  • Amy Lecomber, NATO
  • Katie McQuater, MRS Editor of Research Live + Impact magazine
  • Jane Frost, CEO of MRS
Director, CMI Strategy & Capabilities at Unilever

Gemma Bumpsteed joined Unilever’s Consumer Market Insight function in 2007 having worked at IRI and in category management prior to that. Through her time at Unilever Gemma has worked in various insight roles from procurement through to her current role focussing on upskilling market research talent making sure they are purpose led and future fit.

Kenny is the co-founder and Managing Director of ClearView Research Ltd (CVR), a leading-edge insight and strategy agency providing culturally-informed insight on diverse audiences. He has written influential and award-winning publications and has led on innovative partnerships with global brands such as Uber, Tinder and Deliveroo, on social impact campaigns aimed at young people and millennials. Kenny is also a trustee of several charities, such as BBC Children in Need, Strength Within In Me Foundation (S.W.I.M), Spark Inside and City Gateway, where he is currently the Chair of the Board of Trustees. He is also on the advisory boards of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust and youth charity Peer Power.

Lucy is the Head of Insight globally and part of the Group Customer Insight team at HSBC. Lucy has a background in statistics and started her research career as graduate at GfK (then NOP). She has been at HSBC for over 15 years and held a number of roles within the UK Insight team before moving to head up Insight for Commercial Banking globally in 2012. While leading Commercial Insight she brought together researchers across 15 markets to successfully launch and deliver the first global client engagement and brand tracking initiatives for the Commercial bank.

Lucy is currently responsible for strategic research across all of HSBC’s lines of business and works with a range of stakeholders across Marketing, Wealth, Personal Banking, Digital and Business to Business to ensure the customer is at the heart of their decision-making.

Jennifer Perry is the MD of respondi, UK. For over 16 years she has been at the forefront of online research in the UK, Europe and beyond.

Jennifer has been instrumental in shifting analytical models from those based on self-reporting of consumer behaviour to the fusion of data from a broad variety of sources, including the integration of consumers’ passive online behaviour. She specializes in complex comparative and multi-country research projects.

Under her leadership, respondi won the MRS “Best Data Collection (Online)” for a pioneering study of attitudes among refugees in twelve countries across three continents, illustrating that her approach to research not only benefits commercial clients but can be used to tackle and better understand complex issues of importance to society as a whole.

And most recently, best paper at ESOMAR Fusion in 2018.

Aside to this, Jennifer is a board member of The Market Research Benevolent Charity, the only charity of its kind helping UK Researchers in financial crisis, educational grants and mental health/Wellbeing.

Dr Rachel Lawes is a social psychologist specializing in the interface between individuals and consumer culture. Her extensive publishing history spans marketing industry trade journals, academic publishing in psychology and market research, and journalism. She is recognized as one of the original founders of British commercial semiotics and is known for her engaging style and ability to make difficult concepts and theory accessible to non-academic audiences.

Rachel has produced a number of award-winning papers and conference presentations. Her books include Using Semiotics in Marketing: How to achieve consumer insight for brand growth and profits (Kogan Page, 2020). Her extensive support of MRS includes acting as a mentor and trainer, delivering a wide range of professional development programmes. For more than 10 years she has convened the MRS Advanced Qualitative Methods Masterclass.

On receiving her Fellowship, Rachel says: “MRS has been the backbone of my twenty-year career in market research. With its help, semiotics was able to become established as a commercial offering, I delivered more than a decade of training, spoke at dozens of conferences and published extensively. I'm extremely grateful for this award and I look forward to serving MRS in the future.”

Matt has 15 years of market research and analytics working across Radio and press before moving into world of sport in 2008 when he took over as Head of EMEA Research at Eurosport. He headed up insight teams at ESPN, BT Sport and Sky Sports before joining F1 as Global Research Director in June 2017. At F1 he is responsible for all data and insight which helps drive fan engagement and commercial revenue opportunities within the sport

With two decades under her belt, Parves is an insight leader with a strong track record of transforming research functions into insight powerhouses. She is a passionate believer in the power of mentoring and is a mentor with the 30% Club and Women in Research.

Amy leads NATO’s audience research function, and has worked in Cabinet Office, the British Standards Institution and Ipsos MORI over the last decade. A certified MRS member, Amy has a mixed methodology background and extensive experience of developing strategic communications recommendations.

No Biography Available
Jane is responsible for the leadership of MRS. Jane was previously at HM Revenue & Customs where she developed and led the individual customer function and the behavioural evidence and insight unit.
Before moving to HMRC in 2006, she held senior roles in both public and private sector organisations including Shell, Unilever, the Department of Constitutional Affairs and the BBC, where she was responsible for the iconic 'Perfect Day' campaign which, as well as winning advertisement of the year, raised £2.5m for Children in Need.

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