MRS Gold Medal for Ian Brace


The MRS has awarded Ian Brace, the MRBA’s former Chair, its Gold Medal, the organisation’s most prestigious honour, in recognition of nearly 40 years supporting the institutions which protect and promote the research sector and for outstanding work supporting the charities which serve the sector.

Ian is only one of just 18 winners of the award since the award was first introduced 42 years ago.


Ian was a Trustee of the MRS for over 20 years and Chair of the Market Research Benevolent Association (MRBA) where his achievements included: 

  • Introducing the MRBA Skills programme to enable those unable to afford professional development opportunities financial support to invest in their careers.

  • Enlarging the scope of the charity to enable more help and financial assistance to a wider group of people.

  • Creating the Corporate Patrons and Friends Scheme to improve funding routes into the charity.

  • Helping and providing financial assistance to 100s of research practitioners who have been struggling financially.

The Gold Medal is reserved by the MRS for only the most significant contributions to the sector.


Ian commented: ‘’More than 50 years ago, whilst hunting my first job, a chance encounter with an acquaintance led to an introduction to the head of research at an advertising agency. He in turn introduced me to key people in the research agency world and I became a market researcher. From that kindness onwards it has been important to me to give back what I can to the sector, but I never could have believed that it would lead to the wonderful honour that the MRS has now bestowed.

“The research sector is stimulating, exciting and challenging and I have felt that virtually every day of my career. But we mustn’t lose sight of standards of behaviour, looking after our people and bringing on the next generation and I hope to have made a contribution in all of these areas. My time as Chair of the Market Research Benevolent Association was extraordinarily rewarding, knowing that we could improve the lives of our colleagues in trouble. Through the Professional Standards Committee/Standards Board I was able to contribute to ensuring the sector remained respected by users and public alike. And through training sessions for MRS and working with Bristol Business School I hope to have contributed to the development of the next generation of researchers.

“The award of this medal is an amazing honour for which I am extremely grateful to the MRS, but which could not have been possible without all the people with whom I have worked and who have supported me over the years.”

All of us involved in the MRBA send our congratulations to Ian.