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Young Researcher of the Year Award

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

This year’s edition brings even more topics to inspire you, more mentors to guide you and new judging criteria that will let you showcase your fantastic skills!

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 Dublin, Ireland (27-30 September).

For the first time ever, the winner will be selected based on the votes of the jury and the votes of the audience after the presentations. So if you have a real passion for market research and want to give the performance of a lifetime in front of our Congress audience, put your game face on and submit the project that will get you the title of the Young Researcher of the Year!

Just as in the previous years, the competition is open to all researchers 30 years old or younger and carries an ESOMAR-sponsored prize of €2,500!

The finalists 2015

The finalists were chosen for developing innovative and unique research projects that significantly improved understanding of one of the three selected global issues for the 2015 competition: The Talent Gap - Generations - Brands.

The finalists presented their submissions on 29 September at the ESOMAR Congress in Dublin (27-30 September 2015) where the winner was selected based on the votes of the jury and the votes of the audience after the presentations.

The ESOMAR Young Researcher of the Year Award 2015 finalists are:

Arindam Mohanty

Arindam Mohanty
Third Eye Integrated Services

Brett Ao

Brett Ao

Samantha Bond

Samantha Bond
Northstar Research

The winner 2015

And the winner is...

Arindam Mohanty

Arindam Mohanty
Third Eye Integrated Services, India

The Evolution Express
View the paper

See the jury

Young Researcher of the Year Award 2015 Jury:

  • Laurent Flores, ESOMAR President / Partner, SLPV Analytics, France
  • Dave McCaughan, Chief Storyteller, Bibliosexual, Thailand
  • Stefania Borghini, Associate Professor, Bocconi University, Italy
  • Nick Milne, Head of Marketing Effectiveness, O2 Telefonica, UK


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:


As a result of aging population and the economic crisis over the last few years, four generations have to now coexist in society, in the workplace and in homes. Four generations whose experience, values, attitudes and expectation couldn’t be more different.

Is this a threat or an opportunity for each generation? What can this sometimes frustrating and sometimes joyous exchange of ideas across generations bring to society and business?

  • How do we manage four different generations in the workplace? Many people are staying at work past what used to be considered retirement age while young people are constantly starting on their first job. How do we all communicate and benefit from each others’ experience? How do we build successful cross-generational teams?
  • How can public institutions and political parties appeal to different age groups? Do they need to reconnect with younger generations? Will we see successful political groups appealing specifically to older/younger voters?
  • Many marketers have been focusing their efforts on the millennials, but will they really be the biggest spenders in the coming years? The over-50s in the developed world are now called “superboomers” as they’re wealthier, healthier and more active than their predecessors. They spend more on beauty products, culture and luxury travel than any other age group. Who is the target market of the future?

The Talent Gap

The biggest asset and the most valuable competitive advantage of any company are its human resources. But how can companies find the ‘right fit’ if talent is scarce and the top performers have an unlimited choice of potential employers? How do we attract and retain the best talent?

  • How can we promote market research as a career option among young talent? How do we convince young people about the value research brings? How do we ensure that we are the industry of choice for the leaders of tomorrow?
  • How can young people make sure they’re competitive in today’s economy? Are schools doing a good job in responding to the needs of employers?
  • Record numbers of young people are starting their own businesses. Nearly half of all the millennials say they dream of being entrepreneurs. Are they searching for the life-work balance, more independence, fulfillment? Is the next generation more entrepreneurial than the previous generations?


Long gone are the days when people perceive brands as merely the logos or names on the products they buy. Nowadays customers look for brands that are more human - have a story to tell, represent emotions, support a cause, fight for their beliefs. How can brands use the enormous power of authenticity?

  • The majority of millennials say they would pay more for a product they believe to be authentic instead of buying a cheaper brand they don’t fully trust. So how can brands convince customers of their authenticity? How can they tell a story that will inspire millions? How can they convey the values they want to stand for and how do they prove they live by their principles?
  • Culture, education, language – all this affects the perception of individuals and poses a challenge for marketers looking to launch their products in new markets. How can they get to know their new target customer? How do they establish their international brand voice? How can they translate the company values into this new environment to make sure they will be understood?
  • How should companies manage rebranding or relaunching a product? How can they recognise when the change is necessary to stay relevant? How do they showcase their new identity and introduce themselves to customers?

Who Shares?

Sharing content has become a part of our daily lives. Most of us regularly retweet, forward or pin stories that caught our interest. But what exactly triggers us to click that “share” button?

  • The number of shares or likes has become a synonym for success. Word of mouth is used by governments, corporations, start-ups and local convenience stores. But do we know what makes information go viral? Do particular emotions drive sharing? How can we get people excited about what we have to say?
  • More and more consumers are turning to digital sources to find content. What does this mean for the future of information? How has the perception on paying for information changed over the past years?
  • Not that long ago, we used to consume information from one source at a time, or maybe even from one source overall. Nowadays, we often navigate multiple devices simultaneously and it’s rare that any media has our full attention. Media stacking- use of multiple electronic devices for media consumption- has become a term in itself. How has this impacted the way we consume media and absorb information? Does it give us a broader understanding of the issues around us?


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 Anna ( who can pass your query onto the ambassadors.

  1. Generations

    Dirk Huisman

    Dirk Huisman

    Founder and chairman, SKIM, the Netherlands

    Dirk Huisman is founder and chairman of SKIM, an international market research firm with offices in Europe (Rotterdam, NL, and Geneva, CH) and the USA (Newark (NJ)). Dirk is a thought leader in advanced market research methodologies. He is a specialist in Conjoint Analysis and related methods, and a recognized advocate of these methods in the market research world. Dirk is also known for his critical viewpoint on the role of market research in business. He has presented at many conferences and published over 30 papers across a wide range of themes including Pricing, New Product development, Entrepreneurship, The Role and Future of Market Research, and, of course, Conjoint Analysis. For these contributions he received an Esomar award twice. Recently, he published a chapter in the 5th edition of the Esomar’s handbook of Market Research (2007), titled “Research in specific domains: Health Care, Automotives and Telecom”.

    Carlos Garcia

    Carlos Garcia

    Senior Director of International Research and Insights, Viacom International Networks, USA

    Carlos has 10+ years of marketing and advertising research experience in the entertainment business throughout different markets. Appointed to his current role in October 2011, he directs all research efforts for Nickelodeon globally. He joined Viacom in 2002 as Research Manager for Mexico, then moved to Sao Paulo in 2004 to launch Viacom’s research efforts in Brazil and Argentina, before moving to Miami in 2005 as Senior Director Business Solutions across Latin America. Carlos holds degrees from MBA Instituto Panamericano de Alta Dirección de Empresa IPADE, Sociology Post Graduate Degree Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, and B.A Advertising Centro de Estudios Universitarios Publicidad Arte Radio y Television.

    Dawn Herdman

    Dawn Herdman

    President Director, Illuminate Research Asia, Indonesia

    Dawn Herdman has 16 years' qualitative market research experience spread across Australia, Europe and Asia. In 2011 she founded Illuminate Research Asia in Jakarta, a city to drive her passion for consumer understanding with one of the most interesting, diverse and growing Asian markets. Illuminate works across Asia Pacific with clients such as Johnson & Johnson and Unilever. Prior to founding Illuminate, Dawn worked for a number of global agencies including Millward Brown Australia, Mori Ireland, Synovate UK and Research International Thailand.
    Dawn has a joint Bachelor of Science (hons) and Bachelor of Arts (psychology) from the University of Queensland.

  2. The Talent Gap

    Elizabeth Norman

    Elizabeth Norman

    Owner, Elizabeth Norman International, UK

    Liz runs the specialist research recruiter, ENI.  The company is 25 years old and recruiting market researchers before that, she has 30 years of experience filling Research and Insight roles for a very wide variety of organizations, in a variety of countries, particularly Asia and Europe.  Before going into recruitment Liz worked as a researcher in the technology and media industries.

    Whilst researcher profiles and roles have changed a lot over that period, many recruitment themes remain the same, including the scarcity of mid-level talent, the fact the majority still go into the industry by accident, the complexity and variety in the industry, and the opportunity and challenges created by new technology.  Passionate about the industry and what it can offer employees, a discussion with Chime on what motivates those in the industry, led us a study on ‘Research as a Career’.  We have yet to complete the findings but are already looking at positive ways to help the industry, mentoring and university visits being just two of many examples.

    Petter Nylander

    Petter Nylander

    CEO, Universum, Sweden

    Petter serves as the CEO of Universum. He comes to Universum from the online gaming company Unibet. For Petter, joining Universum brings his professional career full circle, as he actually started his career at Universum as a summer intern. After that, he began a career within corporate management that took him to the highest positions in several media-related companies before he landed as CEO of Unibet, Europe’s leading online betting site, headquartered in London. His desire to move home to Sweden led him to Universum.

    Daniel Wain

    Daniel Wain

    Consultant, Daniel Wain Consulting, UK

    Danny is a freelance learning consultant, trainer, coach and writer, specialising in developing business, leadership and communication skills. A researcher since 1990, he moved into business development before becoming Worldwide Director of Learning & Development at Research International. Forming his own consultancy in 2007, he has since helped a wide range of professional services companies across the globe. He is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, a Fellow of the RSA and a Full Member of MRS, the Society of Authors, the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and Equity. A Visiting Fellow at the Universities of Winchester and Westminster, Danny has written for many magazines and journals and is both a published playwright and an award-winning conference speaker and actor.

  3. Brands

    James Parsons

    James Parsons

    Group Director, Flamingo, UK

    James Parsons joined Flamingo near the beginning of the company's story in London and has developed a vast store of expertise and experience in all kinds of FMCG and other categories  including personal care, foods, alcoholic beverages and financial services. He set up Flamingo Tokyo in 2007 and moved to Singapore in 2011 where he was joint MD.  He returned to the London team in 2014 where he is a Director on the global board.
    Much of his work is exploratory in nature, looking at the big cultural factors defining brand relationships and growth opportunities. He is regularly leading such assignments in a variety of categories including personal care, diabetes care, food and beverages and others. He is a Unilever accredited lead. He has also published widely in the industry, his most recent paper - Myth of the Brand in Asia -  receiving Best Paper Award at the Esomar Asia Congress.

    Natalia Gitelman

    Natalia Gitelman

    Senior Director, DatosClaros, Argentina

    Natalia has supervised numerous market research and public opinion projects for companies and institutions in Argentina and Latin America. As author of the book “Social networks and companies” (Ed. Errepar, Argentina, 2012), she is a well known research professional specializing in digital media topics and user of state-of-the-art on-line research methodologies. Natalia has lectured extensively on the Internet and social networks boom as well as on the innovative usage of on-line research techniques at congresses and seminars. Natalia holds a B.A. in Sociology and Master of Economic Sociology.

    Robert Zydel

    Robert Zydel

    Deputy Director, Centre for Public Communication City of Warsaw, Poland & Consumer Insight Director, Saatchi & Saatchi Think Tank, Poland

    Deputy Director of the Centre for Public Communication, in charge of New Media, Marketing and Research and Analysis departments. Responsible for planning and implementing information campaigns across several Town Hall offices; delivery of BTL, ATL and integrated ad campaigns; marketing communication for various Town Hall events, as well as media strategy and planning.
    Designing research tools and methodology aimed at problem solving and challenges faced by organizations.
    Over ten-years of teaching experience gained through running research seminars (UW, SGGW, SWPS).
    Good teaching skills- ability to convey knowledge in an accessible, engaging manner.
    Public appearances on radio and TV. publishing, running workshops and presenting at industry conferences in Poland, as well as abroad.

  4. Who Shares?

    Annie Pettit

    Annie Pettit

    Chief Research Officer, Peanut Labs, Canada

    Annie Pettit, PhD is the Chief Research Officer at Peanut Labs, a company that specializes in self-serve sample, surveys, and polling. She is also Vice President, Research Standards at Research Now. Annie specializes in data quality, sampling and survey design, and social listening. In addition, Annie is the Editor in Chief of MRIA’s Vue magazine, a publication for Canadian marketing researchers, and a member of the advisory committee for the Georgian College Research Analysis Program. She is an invited speaker at marketing research conferences around the world and has published numerous refereed and industry articles. She won the 2014 ESOMAR Excellence Award for the Best Paper, 2014 MRIA Award of Outstanding Merit, 2013 ESOMAR Best Methodological Paper, and the 2011 AMA David K. Hardin Award. Annie blogs at LoveStats, tweets at @LoveStats and is the author of The Listen Lady, a novel about social media research.

    Kyle Findlay

    Kyle Findlay

    Senior Research Scientist, TNS Global Brand Equity Centre, South Africa

    Kyle Findlay feeds his passion for uncovering what makes people tick and sharing it with others. His main areas of interest relate to non-linear, systems dynamics and he has a strong desire to bring the hard sciences to bear on the question of why people do what they do. This passion has encouraged him to delve into specific scientific areas such as neuroscience, chaos theory and network theory. Kyle has published articles in Admap Magazine and Research World Magazine, and has presented papers and hosted expert Q&As at a variety of conferences. In addition he is the recipient of several awards, including the WPP Atticus Award.

    Joe Wheller

    Joe Wheller

    Consumer Insights Consultant, Mekong Capital, Vietnam

    After four years as the Managing Director of Cimigo Vietnam, Joe recently joined Vietnam's most successful private equity firm, Mekong Capital, to deliver training and development on market research to an array of Vietnamese corporations.

    His eighteen year career in market research has spanned projects across the Americas, Europe, & Asia. He has been a regular contributor to ESOMAR Asia Pacific conferences in recent years and is a keen promoter of "New MR" techniques to understand the consumer world around us.

    He believes that with such a rapidly evolving consumer landscape and massive changes afoot in research practice, there's never been a more interesting time to get involved in this industry and build a career.

How to participate

  1. Who can enter?
  2. Any researchers born in 1985 or after.

  3. Deadline of submission
  4. The submission deadline was 29 May 2015.

  5. How will the winner be selected?
  6. The submissions will be reviewed by an international jury of specialists, chaired by the President or Vice President of ESOMAR, who will select a shortlist of three finalists to present their submissions at the ESOMAR Congress 2015 in Dublin. A reserve candidate will also be chosen, in the event that one of the three selected finalists cannot participate.

    The winner will be selected from the three finalists based on the cumulative point average calculated by adding the scores of the jury for the submission (50%), and the scores of the audience at Congress, rating the presentation (50%).

    If none of the finalists are judged to have attained the requisite standard, the jury shall be free to not award a prize. If not enough delegate votes are accrued onsite then the jury decision will determine the winner.

  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 2015. The audience will be asked to score the presentations, which will count as towards determining the final winner (see “How will the winner be selected).

  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 2015. 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.
  • The audience at the Congress will judge the presentation. Their final score will count 50% towards determining the final winner.

Read everything about our previous finalists:



The Talent Gap


Who Shares?


  • Deadline for submissions:
    29 May 2015
  • Finalists announced:
    July 2015
  • Presentations at ESOMAR Congress in Dublin:
    27 - 30 September, 2015
  • Winner announced:
    ESOMAR Congress 2015


If you have questions or comments regarding the ESOMAR Young Researcher Award, please contact Anna Alu:
Phone: +31 20 58 97 846