FEATURE13 December 2022

2022 Young Researcher of the Year – Client: Beatriz Molina Sanchez

Awards News Public Sector UK

UK – Beatriz Molina Sanchez of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) has been awarded Research Live Young Researcher of the Year – Client at the 2022 MRS Awards.

Beatriz Molina Sanchez receiving her award

Molina Sanchez is section deputy in Nato’s audience research function, and has a background in social-cognitive research and quantitative methods.

This role has allowed Molina Sanchez to brief committees of 30 Nato member nations, provide methodological recommendations to the head of the strategic communications unit and head of information environment assessment.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Molina Sanchez initiated and stood up a programme of rolling open-source analysis for Nato’s leadership, tracking and evaluating data on current public opinion.

The information from this programme helped inform work by the assistant secretary general for public diplomacy, the Nato spokesperson, director of the international military staff and the operations division.

Molina Sanchez carried out troubleshooting on different reporting styles, format and delivery days, and also conducted analysis and reporting on Nato’s pre-summit dataset, delivering talking points for the secretary general to use in meetings with heads of state and government.

Additionally, Molina Sanchez developed infographics to drive traffic to the report through Twitter and LinkedIn.

During the preparation of Nato’s pre-summit survey, Molina Sanchez worked on a research community of interest across Nato entities and US Bureau of Intelligence to help increase professional standards throughout Nato.

The research community shared methodological challenges, found potential solutions and exchanged best practice, as well as engaging with research counterparts in organisations including the UK Cabinet Office, GLOBSEC and Pew.

This meant the team was able to deliver a programme of research briefs ahead of Nato summit to inform leadership on the condition of public opinion.

Molina Sanchez is also planning a training programme for non-research practitioners across Nato to help colleagues to engage with project insights efficiently.

Molina Sanchez said: “Winning the Young Researcher of Year (Client) Award is a huge honour. I am extremely grateful to the judges, the MRS and my research mentor.

“I am proud that my work delivering actionable insights at Nato has been recognised within the profession, and to be making an on-going contribution to decision-making within Nato HQ and Nato military structures. I look forward to continuing this exciting path.”