Independents' Day Award

Do you run an independent research business? Would you like to showcase your experience and raise your profile in the industry? Why not enter the annual MRS/ICG Independents' Day Award?

It's never too early to start planning for this.

Part of the annual MRS Excellence Awards, this annual award celebrates researchers who choose to work as micro-businesses. It is free to enter and is open to all independent researchers who are members of either the MRS or ICG and employ no more than three full time staff. It is designed to recognise the contribution of researchers working as independents and will be awarded to the researcher who demonstrates excellence in the delivery of research projects, development or application of novel research methods or contribution to a client's business success.

The winner will be announced at the annual MRS awards party in December, attended by over 850 of our sector's leaders and research buyers.

The Independents’ Day Award is open for entries between May and June every year. Whether you’re just thinking of entering or you’ve already made a start, here are some tips to help you catch the judges’ eyes.

Think creatively about which subject to choose - the scope is wide and you should aim to demonstrate the depth and breadth of work that independents carry out. Ideas include, but are not limited to, case studies, original comment on technical or topical issues, thought pieces and developing best practice methodologies.

1. Read the criteria carefully – it might seem obvious but don’t miss out because of a technicality.

2. Don’t be swayed by papers submitted for other MRS categories - this is an opportunity for you as an independent to show how you’re different.

3. Show how you’ve demonstrated the ICG values such as ‘connected’, ‘forward thinking’, ‘age neutral’, and ‘collaborative’.

4. Use clear language that’s easy to understand – the judges have a lot of content to work through.

5. Think carefully about your 200-word summary - it's an important part of your entry and likely to be the first thing the judges read.

6. Give yourself plenty of time to plan, draft and edit your entry and to get permission from any clients or partners that are featured.

7. Proof-read your submission carefully and get an overview from a trusted colleague as a second pair of eyes.

8. Use the resources and inspiration on the ICG website to help you.

9. If you have questions, just ask Arthur Fletcher or Dan Young

10. Make sure you hit the closing date - usually early July.

Here's some valuable insight from one of the former judges, Ed Newton: "My strongest recommendation is to collaborate with someone (within the ICG or anyone else). Putting these papers together is a creative process that is drastically improved and accelerated by working with two or more people. Creativity will differentiate your submission from the others."