FEATURE9 December 2022

2022 Young Researcher of the Year – Supplier: Chris Curtis

Awards News Public Sector UK

UK – Chris Curtis of Opinium has been awarded Research Live Young Researcher of the Year – Supplier at the 2022 MRS Awards.

Chris Curtis collecting his award

Curtis is head of political polling at Opinium, having joined the company in November 2020, following a more than five-year spell at YouGov.

Focusing on political research, Curtis has worked on several initiatives to put the voices of people and communities at the front of centre of the political debate.

One of these initiatives is to ensure Opinium’s political research is fully representative of the adult population.

This work has involved leading on the most recent changes to the Opinium political methodology, which meant the company was including in its data enough people who did not attend university and people from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Curtis has also worked to find cost-effective ways to improve the overall sample quality to make sure Opinium’s data is robust and accurate, including working with new partners who move beyond traditional online panel design.

Secondly, Curtis has run research projects specifically among marginalised groups to ensure their voices are heard.

He has worked on Opinium’s Multicultural Britain project, which analyses and tracks the attitudes of ethnic minorities in Britain, and has worked with Stonewall to look at attitudes to LGBTQ+ communities.

Curtis has also written about and analysed economically insecure voters, why political parties need to care about them and how they are responding to the cost-of-living crisis.

Through this work he has built up a wide range of client accounts which he runs, including the Labour Party, the Mayor of London, the European Climate Foundation and Freuds.

For the past five years Curtis has been raising awareness of political research and ensuring the findings are accurately represented and correctly understood.

This has included hundreds of TV and radio interviews on different topics, including appearances on the Today Programme, BBC Newsnight, Channel 4 News, ITV News, World at One, BBC Breakfast, Good Morning Britain and BBC Radio 2.

Curtis has also written regular commentary for The Guardian, The Telegraph and the New Statesman.

In addition to his political research work, Curtis has also been selected as Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Milton Keynes North at the next general election.

Curtis said: “Huge thanks to Research Live and the MRS for this award. And congratulations to all the finalists, especially my fabulous colleague LaShanda Seaman.

“This is such a fantastic industry filled with incredible people who produce work that underpins strategic decision making at every level; from our government departments, to brands we love, to those charities helping our most vulnerable.

“Huge thanks to all my wonderful colleagues at Opinium, an agency that never stops surging forward.”