Ipsos, Population Services International and Matchboxology won the inaugural Liz Nelson Award for Social Impact, at last night's annual MRS Awards ceremony in London; while Kantar Profiles Division won the overall Grand Prix Award for Greatest Impact.
The UK Society's gala awards ceremony at Old Billingsgate was sponsored by Cint and hosted by rapper and comedian Doc Brown.
The new Liz Nelson award honours a female pioneer in research and celebrates the positive impact of research beyond the sector, and the winner - a project examining men's fear of HIV testing in South Africa - was personally selected by Dr Liz Nelson OBE, present at the ceremony.
Four people were awarded the President's Medal: Professors Nic Cheeseman, Gabrielle Lynch and Justin Willis, and Dr Susan Dodsworth have worked for a decade on a project working with African institutions to understand election rigging and manipulation strategies in the continent.
The Grand Prix Award goes to one winner across all categories that stands out above the rest and the new Kantar division's paper on longstanding issues in personality assessment 'wowed the judges with its openness and implications for the sector', according to the MRS.
Other big winners were Populus (with its client BT), Opinium Research, Lumen Research and Jigsaw Research on the agency side, and NEC Group, Macmillan Cancer Support and BBC World Service among the clients.
MRS Chief Executive Jane Frost CBE comments: 'The MRS Awards are always a special night - a chance to celebrate with our peers and toast the successes of the past year. But as well as the glitz, trophies and speeches, it is an opportunity to shine a light on the worthy and socially beneficial work our sector does - to remind us all of the power of research and insight outside the commercial sphere. Our new Liz Nelson Award for Social Impact does just that and could not be more timely in the partisan days we find ourselves in. The first recipient of the award, along with many of our other winners and nominees this evening, fill me with confidence that our sector can, and will continue to be, a force for good'.
A complete list of winners can be found at www.mrs.org.uk/awards/mrs-awards .
All articles 2006-20 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.