It is time to make our voices heard and come together to make the world aware of what the research sector has achieved in the last year. It is time to shake off the cobwebs to celebrate success in all its forms.

It is time to enter the MRS Awards 2021 - which launch on 4 May!

I know, I’m surprised too. Like many of you, I’ve struggled to remember the days of the week at times lately, but the interminable lockdown does seem to be coming to an end and a whole new year of awards is upon us – one which will hopefully end in the big party we all need this time around.

I’ve already spoken to some people who aren’t sure if they are in a position to enter this year – whether that’s due to concerns about financial performance, client retention or restrictions on how projects could be delivered, I want to assure you that if your people and your business have survived, you have something to celebrate. There are awards for so many things.

It is more important than ever to shout about the amazing work the sector has been doing – paid and unpaid – both for ourselves and to remind brands and government how essential we remain for giving a voice to consumers and citizens and for the economy.

It’s not just about case studies  – our Research Live categories continue to seek examples of great leadership and business acumen. We’ve tweaked some of the criteria here to hopefully make these accessible to as many of you as possible – including a big change for Young Researcher of the Year, though this will remain free to enter, so I’d like to encourage all the new talent out there to get involved.

The judges will also be looking for creative approaches to research, but if anyone needed proof that necessity was still the mother of invention, 2020 was it. I’m excited for those of you who ploughed your energies into new thinking around engaging participants in lockdown to have the chance to share your innovations with the world.

One of the things you always tell me is to “big up” the sector, but we need your support and stories to do it. Let’s recognise all we’ve achieved and get excited about the future.


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