The Qually Award - Call for Entries 2017
2017 QRCA Qualitative Excellence Award Program

The 2017 Qualitative Excellence Award Program

The QRCA Qualitative Excellence Award is the premiere award in the industry and is awarded annually to a practitioner or practitioners who exhibit a mastery of knowledge of Qualitative methodology and thinking.

Whereas in the past this award has been presented for a previously executed project, this year we are levelling the playing field and awarding this honor based on the best response to an RFP for a hypothetical client.   

Responses will be judged by a panel of highly experienced qualitative practitioners. 10 finalists will be selected. In November 2016 these 10 finalists will be all posted online and voted on by the membership on the QRCA website. The final winning submission will be selected by all QRCA members in a blinded vote. 

The winner (or winning team) of the 2017 Qualitative Excellence Award will receive a $1000 prize and be promoted to the market research community through PR efforts and through QRCA’s industry channels.

Proposals will be accepted until October 30, 2016.

Proposal Specifics

This RFP seeks a proposal that shows great thinking and smart research design.

A California-based non-governmental organization is looking to understand travel patterns of the future for the 30 million residents of the Golden State.

Advancing research on Hyperloop, mass proliferation of ride-sharing, talk of high-speed rail corridors, crowded interstate highway systems, expansion of mass transit, fluctuating fuel prices,  an increasingly bilingual and multicultural population.    All of these are fascinating elements that draw need to gain deeper understanding of how people both from and traveling through California expect to move around in the year 2030. 


  1. Understand and dimensionalize the greatest concerns that are facing Californians and visitors to California regarding their transportation needs.
  2. Capture key consumer frustration points with current transportation infrastructure.
  3. Identify and illustrate patterns in travel behavior to be used for customer segmentation.

The key audiences:

(1) Residents who currently commute over one hour per day by car.
(2) Daily users of public transit.
(3) Californians who speak Spanish as a first language.
(4) Foreign visitors
(5) People who consider themselves environmentally conscious.

Although this project is fully funded, all proposals should keep in mind that this is an NGO and therefore is subject to controlled costs. We look for your guidance in designing a research plan that meets our needs within a reasonable budget. You should not submit your actual budget; no actual numerical values should be a part of the proposal. 

Award Submission
Proposals should be submitted as an attachment that can be no more than seven pages + one title page submitted as a PDF.

Timeline: From the project being commissioned until final reporting, you have four months.   This project should be set in the summer of 2017.

Nomenclature: This proposal should be given a suitable name by the participants in the RFP.   

If you have any questions, please send an email to committee chair Daniel Berkal at


  1. All submissions must be received by email no later than 12 midnight central time Oct. 30, 2016.
  2. This RFP is seeking qualitative proposals only. Although there could be a quant phase as a follow up this proposal should focus on the qual only.
  3. No identifying information should be in the proposal itself. No section of the proposal should name any participants or partners by name or any obviously identifiable descriptor.
  4. Qualitative Researchers may respond to this RFP either by themselves, or as a team of two. These teams do not have to have a current working relationship.
  5. All participants in this must be current members in good standing of the QRCA. 
  6. Only one submission will be accepted per member. Members can not submit BOTH an individual application and one as a part of a team. Nor can they submit as a member of more than one team.
  7. Points for the initial judging of this contest will be awarded as follows.
    • Creativity - 40%
    • Relevance -  Does it answer the problem and reach all the right targets? -  20%
    • Methodology - Is this accomplishable and actionable?  - 20%
    • Style & Presentation - 20%
  8. Rules may not be broken or adapted. 
  9. This is open to all QRCA members, regardless of tenure or position. No member who is on the initial judging committee may enter.

Both applicants will receive equal billing on the award should their proposal be selected. The primary applicant will be the person who is the primary contact for the team.

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