MRBA is proud to be launching a new bursary to support the careers of UK researchers.  Initially up to 20 bursaries will offer financial help to researchers new to the industry as well as those who are eager to improve their skills and enhance their prospects.

Starting today, MRBA Skills will support those taking the Market Research Society(MRS) Advanced Certificate in Market and Social Research Practice qualification – the leading degree level vocational qualification for the research sector.  Over 6,500 candidates in more than 40 countries worldwide have successfully achieved this qualification.

Since MRBA’s 40th anniversary last year, its management committee has been considering ways to broaden the charity’s remit.  Chairman Ian Brace explains:  “MRBA has been providing loans and grants to people who have needed financial assistance for the past four decades and we will continue to do so for as long as we’re needed.  But one of the ways we think we can help improve people’s lives further, is to help them achieve the relevant qualifications that will make a difference to their career prospects and keep them out of need.  That’s why we’re launching MRBA Skills.”

Jane Frost CBE, CEO of MRS and trustee of MRBA, comments: “As a long-time supporter of MRBA, MRS is delighted the MRBA’s new bursary programme will assist more people in taking the MRS Advanced Certificate, which provides a fantastic grounding for people in all areas of research.

“The initiative extends MRS’ ongoing work as the UK regulator and professional body for market research to improve social inclusion and diversity – creating more opportunities for people from different backgrounds and life stages to work in the sector.”

The first tranche of bursaries will be launched this month. “This is a really exciting initiative,” says MRBA Trustee responsible for MRBA Skills, Network Research MD Virginia Monk.  “It’s wonderful that MRBA is able to do something to help people at the beginning of their careers who may not be able to afford to fund the cost of this qualification.  We hope to be able to support up to 10 applicants a year.”

MRBA Skills is for people like Frazer Howitt, a new graduate brand consultant at Sparkler. “The MRBA Skills bursary would be ideal for someone like me.  Even though I’m getting internal training from Sparkler, the availability of funding support would allow me to supplement this training with a qualification which will enhance my career prospects in the long term.”

Kenny Imafidon, MD of Clearview Research, took the MRS Advanced Certificate in January 2017 and funded it himself.  He would have applied for our bursary then if it had been available because he wanted to improve his research knowledge, become a qualified MRS member and then an MRS Company Partner to enhance the reputation of his start-up.  “A bursary like this would have been a blessing and taken the financial burden off me,” he says.

Chloe Fowler, co-founder of Razor Research also thinks MRBA Skills’ bursary is a good idea for agencies like hers.  “It’s a rigorous programme and shows our clients we are keen for our staff to shore up their skills by encouraging them to take the time and put in the energy to complete it.”

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