Young Researcher of the Year Award

Each year ESOMAR offers young researchers the opportunity to develop innovative research solutions to tackle challenging global issues.

An international jury of specialists will select 3 finalists from the worldwide submissions. These finalists will be given the chance to present their findings to an international audience at the ESOMAR Congress in Nice, France (7-10 September).

The competition is open at all researchers under the age of 30, and carries an ESOMAR-sponsored prize of €2,500!

The winner 2014

Pallavi Dhall

Pallavi Dhall
Indian Market Research Bureau, India

Bringing The Invisible To Light
Researching the homosexual community in India and cutting through the social stigma



The questions posed are just some ideas on the direction your submission can take. Get creative within the scope of the topic and feel free to interpret it. Choose one of the broad topics below for your research project:

New generation
How to decode future generations?

Millenials, First Digitals, Generations Y, Me, and Peter Pan. Many have tried to put a label on future generations but, in the end, we still aren’t sure who they are and what they want.

Does the over-personalisation of messages and products and the easy availability of information make them idle and bored? The quick answer is no. They seem to long for the unforeseen and the extraordinary, want to break the rules and be surprised. Look at Google’s “I’m feeling lucky“ button or the popularity of last minute flights with open destination.

While the “fear of missing out” makes them anxious about missing any opportunity for social interaction and forces them to push the “refresh” button on social pages over and over again, we also see an unprecedented number of young people deleting their Facebook accounts, creating an increasing number of closed and private online groups and taking their pictures off the internet. Unpredictability seems to be a real defining feature...

As the “Trophy” generation, they have been raised to aim for the stars, but found themselves in a job market that offers no stability and limited prospects. They are called lazy and entitled, but are also the ones who started the Movember and Giving Tuesday movements and they say that working for a cause they care about is more important than a salary.

What inspires and motivates this new generation and how do we make sure we understand them? How do we research them and how are they different to the generations who came before them?

New technologies
What does living in the “Age of information” really mean?

Think about the story of the pregnant teenager who shops at Target and the retail giant disclosing her pregnancy to her family before she did.

Sometimes we don’t realise how technology impacts our privacy. Nowadays, a Twitter feed is enough to tell the story of our life and products as seemingly innocent as Disney’s “Magic bands” can track our every step.

The way new technology impacts privacy has been a worldwide concern for a while now and leaves us with more questions than answers.

How is our data processed by the dozens of apps we use every day? Can phones and internet providers pass personal details onto advertisers? Can companies share private information without the consumer’s consent?

In a world where everything we do happens under an all-seeing eye, what can we do to retain our privacy or is it really even an issue anymore? New technologies are giving us unprecedented access to learning and ideas but at what cost? What is the future role of research in this new world?

The challenge of society
Discovering the potential

The first decade of the 21st century was perhaps the best, in a long time for many developing economies. Latin American, African and Asian markets are growing at an amazing speed, and the BRIC countries have left struggling Europe and indebted North America far behind.

Globalisation and education reform brought about cultural refinement, created a new social middle class and empowered women and was quickly followed by the arrival of computers, mobile phones, the internet and social media.

How can market research make sure it keeps up with these fast developing regions? How can they face the challenge of working in areas often troubled by social inequality, poverty and other obstacles?

How do we make sure we provide a representative sample if the lower social classes do not have access to the technology that would allow us to reach them? How do we develop and embrace new technologies and tools that are tailored to the needs and specifics of these regions?


The Ambassadors are known thought leaders in the topics areas. They are here to help you, to inspire you and to stimulate debate on each topic. Do you have a question related to your submission? Feel free to email Marta ( who can pass your query onto the ambassadors.

Kristin Luck

Kristin Luck

President, Decipher, USA

As President & CMO, Kristin Luck serves as Decipher’s resident brand evangelist. Her diverse background includes a strong technical knowledge of online research systems and new product development, combined with traditional research experience.She has over 17 years of management experience in both domestic and international custom market and social science research with companies such as Oregon Center for Applied Science, Lieberman Research Worldwide, ACNielsen and OTX.

Kristin has helped blaze a new paradigm for online and mobile research tools and data reporting and has infused traditional corporate planning and product development with a bold usage of new and developing technologies and research methods.

She is a regular speaker at industry conferences and a columnist for Research Business Report where she explores emerging research methods. She’s a 2010 recipient of the American Marketing Association’s 4 Under 40 Award, a double 2012 Stevie’s Award winner, was named to Oregon’s 40 Under 40 in 2012 and most recently was awarded the 2013 Impact Award by the Market Research Association and 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year by Portland Business Journal.

Kristin was an instructor at UCLA from 2001-2007 and is a periodic guest lecturer at SUNY Albany and the University of Oregon, where she lectures on new ventures and global marketing and research.

Cristina Paez

Cristina Paez

Regional Manager, Ipsos Consultor, Ecuador

Cristina has worked in market research since she was very young, starting as a trainee for a family owned firm, which has since become part of the Ipsos Group. Beginning in 2012, Cristina became Regional Manager of this same firm.

Through her experience in the industry, Cristina has developed skills that have awarded her with local and international distinctions: in 2013, she was nominated for Ecuador’s Principal Investigator by The World Values Survey Organization (WVS), and in 2009 she was one of three finalists for the first-ever ESOMAR Young Researcher of the Year Award, presenting her research paper at ESOMAR’s annual Congress.

Cristina is one of the founding members of the Fringe Factory, a group of top young international researchers working closely with ESOMAR to provide a platform for students and young professionals to get a closer look at what market research is all about.

She is also a founding partner of Insights Magazine, a marketing publication, which in only two years has become a reference for industry professionals in Ecuador and very soon in Latin America.

Since 2007 Cristina has been part of the board of directors for the Chamber of Commerce of Guayaquil. This is an extremely rewarding nomination, considering 90% of the members are successful male businessmen over the age of 45.

Cristina believes it is her responsibility as a Latin American woman to continuously focus her life and work towards the right causes. Her aim is to apply her personal and professional expertise and never-ending craving for knowledge to projects that will be beneficial on a larger scale, worldwide.

Pravin Shekar

Pravin Shekar

Kreator-in-Chief, krea, India

Pravin has been in the research domain for the past 17 years and continues to contribute in various avatars : Entrepreneur, Technologist, Research-evangelist, Speaker. He heads two entities: 'krea', an India-centric panel research firm and 'The Social Catalyst', a non-profit trust aimed at professionalizing the working of NGOs.

Pravin is the recipient of the "Emerging Leader in Marketing Research" Award from the American Marketing Association (4 Under 40).

In regular demand as a speaker, Pravin has presented papers and chaired discussions at several conferences. He has organized custom ESOMAR events in India in his capacity as a Representative and is spearheading the thrust for making MR a career of choice for students.

Consistent and Energetic, Pravin's passion is to evangelize entrepreneurship and market research (and leveraging technology towards this cause!).

Dave McCaughan

Dave McCaughan

Director of Truth Central Asia Pacific and Managing Director, McCann Worldgroup, Hong Kong

Recently having re-located to Hong Kong, Dave joined McCann in 1986 in his native Sydney, Australia where he built the strategic planning function and subsequently has been based in Bangkok, Hong Kong and Tokyo leading regional strategy development. As of January 2014, Dave is responsible for the twin roles of Managing Director of McCann’s companies in Hong Kong and Global Director of Truth Central, McCann WorldGroup’s global insight and research group.

Over the last 20-plus years, he has led Asian strategy and communication campaign development for clients such as Coca-Cola , MasterCard, Nestle, Tokyo Disneyland , Sunstar and Hitachi.

He has an extensive history of working on the implications of media changes, how society is influenced and, in turn influences media. Amazingly, still seen as an Asian thought leader on youth marketing (despite the hair), he is also leading key initiatives into the aging markets of Asia. For clients like Johnson&Johnson, he is leading investigations into the true potential of what he sees as the biggest growth market in the world – the 60-somethings of Asia.

Dave has talked at over 400 conferences globally, including many ESOMAR regional conferences and the annual ESOMAR Congress. He has been a regular columnist for journals like Advertising Age and Japan Close-Up. He also serves as a board member and contributor for ESOMAR’s Research World magazine.

In his previous lives, Dave was a yoghurt maker, menswear salesman, a children’s storyteller (for ten years) and a butler for a reclusive Duke in Rome.

Usman Ehsan

Usman Ehsan

Secretary General ASMMR, Pakistan

Usman Ehsan is founder and Secretary General of the Asian Society of Management and Marketing Research (ASMMR). He holds a BSc (Hons) from GIFT University (PK), an MS from SZABIST (PK) and an MBA from the American University of Sharjah (UAE). Usman is also currently teaching courses on marketing at GIFT University (PK). During his career in research consultancy, Usman has worked with several international organisations including World-Vision, the National Institute of Rural Management (N-IRM), Lahore Stock Exchange and the American University of Sharjah. His research has appeared in journals (Impact Factor) and at conferences worldwide. Usman holds a Best Paper Award from the Emerald Group of Publishing (UK) and was awarded Best Young Researcher at the Young Business Leaders Conference organised by Zayed University in 2012.

Chris Wallbridge

Chris Wallbridge

Experience Strategist, MESH, UK

Chris is an Experience Strategist at MESH, joining from a consultancy background in early 2011 and picking up Best Newcomer a few months later. Having not started out in this industry, Chris is well aware of the stereotypical industry image caused by a lack of understanding about what we can and do deliver. In his opinion this industry can be creative, dynamic and innovative, offering its members opportunities to experience growth on so many different fronts.

How to participate

  1. Who can enter?
  2. Any researchers born in 1984 or after.

  3. Deadline of submission
  4. The submission deadline is 16 May 2014.

  5. How will the winner be selected?
  6. The submissions will be reviewed by an international jury of specialists, who will select a shortlist of three finalists to present their submissions at the ESOMAR Congress 2014 in Nice. A reserve candidate will also be chosen, in the event that one of the three selected finalists cannot participate. The jury, which will be chaired by the President or Vice President of ESOMAR, will then select a winner from the three finalists.

    If none of the finalists are judged to have attained the requisite standard, the jury shall be free to not award a prize.

  7. What happens if you are selected as a finalist?
  8. The 3 shortlisted finalists will be invited to present their findings in an exclusive session at the ESOMAR Congress 2014.

  9. What happens if you win?
  10. The award carries an ESOMAR-sponsored prize of €2500.
    The winner will be announced at the ESOMAR Congress 2014. He or she will receive a unique trophy to commemorate this achievement and their paper will be published on the ESOMAR website. The winner will also receive 2 free registrations for ESOMAR workshops of their choice.

Judging criteria

Eligible submissions will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Contributes to excellence and best practice in research.
  • Is innovative (i.e. breaks new ground). Shows a high level of creativity, fresh thinking and innovation in the approach and conclusion on broad global issues.
  • Shows a real understanding of the issues by proving its actual or potential impact on decision-making.
  • Indicates how, and under what circumstances, the theory (or the findings) may be best applied.
  • Focuses on applications across cultures, demographics and countries.
  • Values scientific, statistical and analytical methods and techniques to gain insight or support decision making.
  • Makes recommendations and provides an "answer" based on the research results. In short it uses a holistic approach to achieve concrete answers to a difficult and topical worldwide challenge.
  • In addition, the jury will take into account the extent to which the research is in line with ESOMAR principles.

Read everything about our previous finalists:

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New generation
How to decode future generations?

New technologies
What does living in the “Age of Information” really mean?

The challenge of society
Discovering the potential


  • Deadline for submissions:
    16 May 2014
  • Presentations at ESOMAR Congress in Nice:
    7 - 10 September, 2014
  • Winner announced:
    ESOMAR Congress 2014


If you have questions or comments regarding the ESOMAR Young Researcher Award, please contact Marta Mucha:
Phone: +31 20 58 97 849