Welcome to MRBA Skills

Considering the MRS Advanced Certificate?  Need support with the fees?  Maybe MRBA Skills can help

MRBA Skills is an education bursary scheme designed to provide financial support to help UK market and social researchers develop their research skills to enhance their careers.  After helping UK researchers in financial need for over 40 years, MRBA is now broadening its remit to support UK market and social researchers at the beginning of their careers as well as those who are eager to improve their skills and enhance their career prospects.

As a needs-based organisation, MRBA wants to ensure that the people Skills is helping really need support and will benefit from our assistance.  Consequently, there is quite strict criteria in place to ensure that only researchers who cannot afford the funding themselves, or whose employer does not have sufficient budget to fully fund the training, will receive Skills Funding.

Why not take a look at our short MRBA Skills video here.


Current Bursaries available

Thank you for considering applying for MRBA funding to study for the Market Research Society (MRS) Advanced Certificate in Market and Social Research practice qualification.

Currently up to 20 bursaries a year are available for researchers wishing to take the MRS Advanced Certificate.

Click here to find out more specific information about the MRS Advanced Certificate.

There are four easy to follow steps to applying for MRBA Bursary Funding:


STEP 1:  Are you eligible for MRBA Skills funding?

First of all, have you worked for at least 3 months continuously in the UK market or social research sector within the past three years? Unfortunately if you haven’t, you can’t apply for MRBA Skills funding, sorry!

Before moving onto the next step, does ONE of the below statements best describe you?

  • I am currently employed as a researcher, fieldworker or intern in a UK market or social research agency/supplier which has an annual turnover of less than £2m and I am earning less than £35,000 annually OR
  • I am currently employed as a researcher, fieldworker or intern in a UK client-side research team/buyer whose annual research and insight spend is less than £200,000 and I am earning less than £35,000 annually OR
  • I am currently a UK freelance or research contractor with an annual income of less than £50,000 OR
  • I am currently an unemployed UK researcher seeking a new role in UK market and social research

Sadly if NONE of the above statements describe your current research employment status, then you will NOT be eligible for MRBA Skills funding, sorry!

STEP 2: Make a note of these key dates:

Applications for MRBA Skills financial assistance can be made at any time throughout the year. MRBA Trustees will review all applications received and communicate their decision to all applicants during the following cycles:

Online Applications period Online Applications reviewed Decision outcome communicated to applicants
Between 15th March – 17th October 18th October – 14th November 15th – 19th November
Between 18th October – 14th March 15th March – 31st March 1st – 15th April

These timings are aligned with the MRS Advanced Certificate assessment rounds in January and June of each year.


STEP 3: The key application information required:

BEFORE you click on the link below to complete the online application form for an MRBA Skills bursary,

a) Please register your interest to apply for an MRBA Skills bursary first by emailing mrba_skills@mrba.org.uk.  A member of our team will then contact you to discuss your eligibility and answer any of your questions.

b) Please read the How to Apply July 2024

This explains  the information you will need to have to hand when you are ready to apply for funding.  It also details the terms and conditions of the bursaries, so please ensure you read this too.

c) It’s also important that you have chosen a learning provider which you plan to study with for the MRS Advanced Certificate.  The How to Apply July 2024 on this page provides the provider options and associated costs.  Please decide on your chosen learning provider BEFORE you start the application process for funding.

d) The ‘How to Apply for Funding‘ document also explains that you or your employer might be asked to make a financial contribution to your funding, which would be reimbursed if you achieved the Advanced Certificate. So, if this applies to you, you will need your employer’s assistance in completing the online application.

Please make sure you have all required information and documentation is ready to upload, because currently there is NOT the facility to save your application and return to it at a later date. 

Download How to Apply July 2024

STEP 4: Applying for an MRBA Skills bursary

Assuming you have all the information you need, then you should complete the application form by clicking the button below.

Apply now


What happens next?

Once you have submitted your application online, you’ll receive a confirmation email.  In line with the key dates above, your application will be reviewed in complete confidence by MRBA Trustees and you will receive an email confirming the outcome of your application within the decision outcome period shown above.

If you are successful, the bursary amount awarded will be paid to your chosen course provider.


Interested but still have questions? 

Then email your questions to mrba_skills@mrba.org.uk