NEWS30 May 2024

Ian Brace named MRS Gold Medal recipient

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UK – The Market Research Society (MRS) has awarded Ian Brace with its Gold Medal as well as naming eight fellows and three honorary posthumous fellowships.


Brace joined MRS in 1975 and was a trustee and chair at the Market Research Benevolent Association (MRBA).

In addition, Brace is an active founding member of the Archive of Market and Social Research (AMSR) and spent 15 years on the MRS Market Research Standards Board. 

The award means Brace is one of only 18 individuals to receive a Gold Medal from the MRS since its inception in 1982.

Eight MRS Fellowships have also been awarded for outstanding service to the sector and significant contributions to the development of research, insight and data understanding. 

This year’s fellows include Kristin Hickey, for her long-term advocacy for equality, diversity and inclusion within the research sector and for developing the understanding of social impact modelling and defensive innovation.

Alex Hunt gained a fellowship for his contribution to sustainability and inclusion initiatives, including the We Better Behave (WBB) sustainability event series, and James Sallows for being a member of the MRS Senior Client Council and as part of the MRS/AQR university roadshow team.

Former MRS chair Sinead Jefferies gained her fellowship for her service in the role and as a main board member, as well helping to found the MRS People and Talent initiative and leading the organisation’s research response tracking the impact of Covid-19 and contribution to the Business Intelligence Group (BIG).

Colin Strong also received a fellowship reflecting his role as chair of the MRS Delphi Group and commitment to the development of research, insight and data understanding on topics such as technology adoption, behaviour change, artificial intelligence and trust.

Donald Osborne was rewarded for his contribution to the Association for Qualitative Research (AQR), including as one of its founders, and for developing a standardised approach for interviewing for readership surveys.

Another fellowship was awarded to Jon Puleston for seven years’ service on the Esomar Professional Standards Committee and his role as joint chair of the Esomar Demographics Standards Committee.

Caroline Wren was the final fellow announced this year, and was commended for her role as a member of the MRS Sustainability Council, including leading the recent update of the MRS Climate Pledge.

In addition to the fellows, MRS will award honorary fellowships to eminent public and business figures who have championed or demonstrated the power of research, insight or data from outside the sector.

This years honorary fellowships include Keith Hughes, Dr Stephen Jenkins and Geoff Wright.

For the first time, the MRS will also award honorary posthumous fellowships to individuals who have carried out exceptional services to the industry and who were not recognised during their lifetime, with the first three people recognised being Mel Crowther, Dr Alan Branthwaite and Mike Trotman.

This year’s Gold Medal will be presented at the MRS Excellence Awards Lunch on 7th June 2024. The lunch will also celebrate the latest fellowships.

Jane Frost, chief executive officer at MRS, said: “Ian’s long-standing dedication to the research sector and the people who work within it make him an entirely worthy winner of MRS’ highest honour of the Gold Medal. As a colleague of Ian’s on both the MRBA and AMSR, I have witnessed first-hand the impact that he has made in his nearly 40 years of service.

“I’m also pleased to recognise our new fellows, honorary fellows and honorary posthumous fellows. Our sector is brimming with talent and real passion to make a difference both to our world of research and to the organisations and people we serve, and this commitment shines through in this year’s fellowships. I look forward to celebrating with everyone at the Excellence Awards next month.”