Calling for Nominations for this year’s Ginny Valentine Awards for bravery in Market Research

Since 2011 market researchers have been winning a different kind of award, one for bravery rather than cleverness or profitability. In conference after conference and forum after forum, speakers have spoken of the importance of researchers not going with the flow but being willing to step out against the flow. Stan Sthanunathan, Vice President of Unilever made it one of his 10 commandments of market research. If you know someone who has shown bravery in the course of research, visit to nominate them.  A distinguished panel of judges from client and supply side will pick the winners with awards given out in Atlanta in June at IIeX North America.

 The Ginny Valentine Badge of Courage awards were set up in memory of one of the most distinguished researchers in the UK who pioneered the use of semiotics in the marketing community against the odds. It took her decades. It seemed fitting to remember Ginny with an award celebrating persistence, risk taking, or raw physical courage.  Now in its 7thyear we have a gallery of remarkable winners whose stories have inspired their peers.

The Ginny Valentine awards are open to clients and suppliers, to junior as well as senior researchers. Our youngest ever winner was a teenage interviewer – sadly honoured posthumously after she was shot by the Taliban for conducting in home surveys.  One of our most senior had worked an entire career to put conjoint analysis at the heart of the quantitative research industry worldwide.  Once an entire client team won because of the way their funding of start-ups galvanized the way the whole industry thought.

Last year’s winners included Pravin Shekhar who founded a research company predominantly staffed by those with a disability.  Then there was the research conference organizer and speaker who redesigned a conference session around the needs of a dementia sufferer so she could tell her story without distraction and distress. Oh and the research team who conducted a very tricky study somewhere in the Middle East – but we aren’t allowed to tell you where. It’s complicated..

We have never been able to codify exactly what bravery means- every year the judges find a fresh example. Clients who risk their careers to buy off-roster. Or cancel a tracking study they no longer believe in even if that means starting from scratch without a benchmark to work from.  The Ginny Valentine award is the only way we know to recognize such guts and gumption.  But you can’t win without a nomination. So get nominating. You CAN nominate yourself! And hurry up – because there are only a few weeks to go. Perhaps the best thing about the Ginny Valentine awards is not just that they are helping to make researchers braver, but better at noticing and applauding bravery when we see it. So time to get started. Are you sure you haven’t seen a single piece of bravery in the last 12 months? We bet you have.

Fiona Blades / John Griffiths, founders

The Australian Market and Social Research Society is linked globally to 45 associations through its partnership with the Global Research Business Network (GRBN) and the Asia Pacific Research Committee (APRC). Click here to read about the AMSRS global network. This article is originally sourced from GRBN website.

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The Australian Market & Social Research Society Limited (AMSRS) is a not-for-profit professional membership body of over 2,000 market and social research professionals who are dedicated to increasing the standard and understanding of market and social research in Australia. The Society assists members to develop their careers by heightening professional standards and ethics in the fields of market and social research.

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