The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Excellence

Past winners of The AQR Qualitative Excellence Award

Since its inception in 2003, the Prosper award has attracted an exceptionally high quality of entrants and papers, covering industries from banking to pet products, from healthcare to the homeless, and techniques including storyboarding, micro-anthropology, and behavioural economics. It has become the "Oscar" of the qualitative research industry.

2023: Stephanie Holland

Stephanie Holland of Hush Research & Strategy showed how insightful qual can successfully help a brand evolve and re-invent itself. [more]

2022:Newbould & Morris

Debbie Newbould of Flume, and Richard Morris of Cranswick Convenience Foods presented a case study of ham which was an excellent example of how tactical qualitative research can reap enormous benefits for clients. [more]

2021: Boorman & Dobbie

Claire Boorman, a founding partner of Boxclever, together with William Dobbie, co-founder of R&B Distillers, showed how the Isle of Raasay distillers challenged category convention to launch a young, premium, Scottish whisky. [more]

2020: Fenton O'Creevy & Allen

The winning paper from 2020, "Lurpak: Feeding the imagination", from Folk Research, stood out for its creative, fun and engaging methodology, while building on a well thought-out hypothesis and long-term engagement with the client. [more]

2019: Amanda Anderton

The 2019 winner, "From Pitches to Riches: How qual powered the future of factual TV", by Hope+Anchor, in conjunction with ITV, is a case study showing how creative and insightful qualitative research can get you so much closer to really understanding what motivates your audience. [more]

2018: Hollingworth & Greaves

Hollingworth and Greaves of The Behavioural Architects showed through their work with The Big Issue magazine how good Qualitative research can make a positive impact in modern society". [more]

2017: Oliver Sweet

The winning paper from Oliver Sweet of Ipsos MORI showed how qualitative research can reveal deep customer truths and how cultural intelligence helped pets around the world.

2016: Johns & Roychowdhury

A paper by Jeff Johns and Noah Roychowdhury of Northstar Research Partners described how using micro-anthropology and involving an LSE academic resulted in the Royal Academy boosting attendance of the Summer Exhibition. [more]

2016: Hayter & Cooper

Caroline Hayter and Camilla Cooper of Acacia Avenue presented a paper which described how the use of behavioural economics saw a significant increase in participation in park tennis.

2015: Nick Coates

Nick Coates of C-Space won the award for his work with insurance company Aviva, and the way it transformed the way they look at themselves, their brokers and their end-customers. [more]

2014: Anderton & Hanley

Amanda Anderton and Darren Hanley of Hope+Anchor, through their collaborative approach with John Brown Media, showed how excellent qualitative research can be used to attract new business. [more]

2013: Sarah Jenkins

Sarah Jenkins of Ipsos MORI won the 2013 award for her work with BBC news teams entitled "Does constant snacking prevent real hunger? Understanding cross platform needs in news consumption". [more]

2012: Becky Rowe

Becky Rowe of ESRO took the 2012 award for her paper "300 hours in A&E: tackling violence and aggression on the NHS frontline". [more]

2011: Julie Davey

The 2011 Award was won by Julie Davey (the founder of Julie Davey Research) for her paper "Turning ostriches into owls. How research helped to overturn consumer complacency around gum disease for Corsodyl". [more]

2010: Nicky Holmes

Nicky Holmes of Zebra Square was the 2010 winner with a paper entitled "Can you see it yet? Painting the Bigger Picture". Working for Wickes, a seemingly simple brief for a paint category review unearthed a more significant issue than expected. [more]

2009: Coulam & Higgins

Researching the intangibles of serives presents its own challenges. Amelia Coulam and Andrea Higgins of Green Light Research win the 2009 award for their work on "Making Memorable Moments" at Center Parcs.

2008: Nancy Macdonald

The 2008 Award was won by Dr Nancy Macdonald of 2CV for work on a Financial Services Authority project called "On The Money" where the aim was to understand young people's financial needs and challenges in order to create an engaging online resource.

2007: Whitehill & Kapoor

The 2007 award went to Acacia Avenue's Caroline Hayter Whitehill and Nitasha Kapoor for their paper on London Underground, and the way of placing insights on the boardroom table. [more]

2006: Liz Owen

Liz Owen of Opinion Leader Reasearch won an award for a paper which demonstrated how research for the Department of Health resulted in policy makers identifying a number of specific policies within the White Paper because of the priority given to them by the public. [more]

2006: Salmon & Whitehill

Chloe Salmon and Caroline Whitehill from Acacia Avenue won an award for a new research model it has developed which exposes the reasons for fundamental differences between people's attitudes and their behaviours.

2005: Bob Cook

Bob Cook, of Firefish, won with his paper "Sleepless in South London" which powerfully demonstrated how good qualitative thinking can lead to a unique perspective on an issue. [more]

2004: Bryan Urbick

Bryan Urbick, director of research at CKC/KidsLink Research, won the second Prosper Riley-Smith Effectiveness Award for his innovative approach to researching Kellogg's Froot Loop cereal brand.

2003: Luigi Toati

The first winner of the Prosper Riley-Smith Effectiveness Award was Luigi Toiati, chairman, Focus Research, for his development of Tao Collages, a new qualitative research technique based on Eastern philosophies.