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Press Releases

The QRCA has many experts, case studies and spokespeople on a wide variety of qualitative research topics. We are a one-stop shop for any information you need for articles about qualitative research. For help with stories, to locate a category/topic expert, or for any other needs, please contact:

Communication Director 
Laurie Pumper |


Since 2014, the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) has advanced young qualitative researchers’ careers by giving them the opportunity to network with established professionals and learn from forward-thinking presentations on qualitative research at the 2019 QRCA Conference. The winners of the 2019 Young Professionals Grant (YPG) program are:

  • Vidhika Bansal, UX Research & Strategy Lead, CARFAX, United States
  • Katy Carew, Research Manager, KNow Research, United States/li>
  • Kari Casciano, Marketing Researcher & Strategist, Founder of Elevate Insights, United States/li>
  • Kelly Donohue, Design Researcher, Credit Karma, United States/li>
  • Annette Esquibel, Design & UX Researcher, The Brightly Co., United States/li>
  • Saransh Gupta, User Experience Researcher, Department of Work and Pensions, London, England/li>
  • Molly Hagan, Qualitative Associate, Corona Insights, United States/li>
  • Jack Fleming, Product Designer,, United States/li>
  • Allison Kuperman, Product Designer, Medisas, United States/li>
  • Meghan Lazier, Design Researcher and Strategist, US Federal Government, United States/li>
  • Tyler Maltbie, Senior Consultant, C Space, United States/li>
  • Abby Miller, Sr. Qualitative Research Manager, Magid, United States/li>
  • Barb Paszyn, Research Management Associate, Sklar Wilton & Associates, Canada/li>
  • Sonya Shen, Independent Research Consultant & Storyteller, United States/li>
  • Erin Wagner, Research Analyst II, Edge Research, United States

These recipients, who demonstrated interest and dedication to the field, will attend the QRCA’s Annual Conference in Savannah, Georgia, January 30 - February 1, 2019. This annual conference is the premier gathering for qualitative researchers, with unparalleled opportunities to connect and network with other researchers, expand and strengthen skill sets via hands-on collaborative practice, learn from the best of the best in the industry, refresh perspectives, and reinvigorate businesses with new methodologies, tools, and partners. In addition to complimentary conference attendance, each grant winner receives membership to QRCA for the 2019 year.

First launched in 2014, the YPG was created to help advance the careers of qualitative researchers aged 35 and younger via access to peer networking and educational sessions at the QRCA Annual Conference. Since the start of the Young Professional Grant Program, more than 50 research professionals have been given the opportunity to attend the QRCA Annual Conference and network with qualitative researchers from around the world.

Thanks to the generous support from partners Schlesinger Group, M/A/R/C Research, FocusVision, and media partner Quirk’s, these recipients have been awarded passes to attend QRCA’s Annual Conference in Savannah, valued up to $1,300 per awardee. “The YPG program is nothing less than our organization's lifeblood,” says QRCA President Tom Rich. “The recipients of this award bring a level of energy and enthusiasm to our organization that is irreplaceable. At this point, I can't imagine QRCA without it."

The Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) will again offer its Young Professionals Grant (YPG) program this year. In its fifth year, the YPG program’s goal is to help advance young qualitative researchers’ careers by giving them the opportunity to network with established professionals and learn from forward-thinking presentations on qualitative research at the QRCA’s premier conference. The grant includes full registration fees (a US $1,300 value) to attend QRCA’s upcoming annual conference in Savannah, Ga., which will be held January 30–February 1, 2019. New this year, QRCA will offer free membership to the grant recipients for the remainder of 2019. QRCA is proud to partner with M/A/R/C/ Research and Schlesinger Group as sponsors, and Quirk’s Media as our media partner for the YPG program.

QRCA welcomes any individual aged 35 and younger who is involved in qualitative research whether as a student, trainee, independent consultant or a professional on the client/corporate side, strategic consulting firm or product/service development firm and communications agencies.

“The YPG grant program has far exceeded our expectations as a positive tool to encourage the growth of our profession,” says QRCA President Jay Zaltzman. “QRCA is pleased to offer this program for 2019, and we look forward to hearing from another group of enthusiastic young qualitative researchers.”

Additional information regarding qualifications for the grants (and the application form) can be found at The grants do not include travel or lodging expenses associated with attending the annual conference. Applicants need not be members of QRCA to qualify. The closing date for applications is September 24, 2018. Winners will be notified by October 16, 2018.

The ninth biennial Worldwide Conference on Qualitative Research, presented by the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) and the Association for Qualitative Research (AQR), is the world’s largest international conference focused solely on qualitative research and will be held May 16-18 in Valencia, Spain, at the Westin Valencia Hotel. Early registration rates are in effect until April 3, 2018.

Registration is now open for a conference program that has been expertly curated to offer the most thought-provoking and informative sessions — all speakers will be presenting new material, never shared before. The fast-paced, immersive sessions mean attendees will stay curious, absorbing the latest new thinking, and will come away with a fresh slant on the world of qualitative research. The details of the three-day program are on the conference website at

The 28 elite speakers at the conference are qualitative research experts from across the globe and ready to share innovative ideas. Attendees will have a great opportunity to make new connections with international colleagues and connect with old friends to expand qualitative skills. The Thursday keynote address will feature Ian Leslie, best-selling author and former advertising strategist who now advises businesses on communication, storytelling and curiosity.

AQR and QRCA’s enveloping warm spirit creates a welcoming environment like no other. The conference is open to anyone who is interested in “qual”: qualitative researchers, research buyers, marketing and strategy executives at advertising agencies, brand consultants, user experience and design firms — anyone focused on best practices for insight discovery.

Full conference information is available at the QRCA Worldwide Conference webpage. Follow along on Twitter using #WWQual.

A limited number of sponsorships and exhibit spaces remain available for the Worldwide Conference. Visit the sponsorship opportunity webpage for more information on how to sponsor the event.

The Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) has announced the broadening of its membership criteria to evolve with the growth of qualitative research. This allows one of the only associations dedicated to the advancement of qualitative research to expand its reach to the wide array of professionals doing qualitative work.

QRCA has removed the restrictions on qualitative researchers who work in-house and those who work at ad agencies. Professionals who design, conduct, analyze or support the conduct of primary qualitative research are now eligible to join the QRCA, no matter where they work. While this evolution will bring in new qualitative researchers, QRCA has also maintained a commitment to preserving its collegial and welcoming atmosphere that so many of its members have come to know and love.

“The future of qualitative research is changing at a rapid pace, and QRCA aims to be a leader in the qualitative world,” said Jay Zaltzman, president of QRCA. “Adapting to meet the needs of researchers from across the qualitative spectrum is crucial to ensure a healthy future for qualitative research and the many industries that depend upon it.”

Benefits of QRCA membership include:

  • Business opportunities from the QRCA Find a Researcher Directory and partnerships with colleagues.
  • Sharing and learning cutting-edge qualitative tools and applications with other professionals from around the globe, both in the online member community and in-person through local chapter meetings and conferences.
  • Access to members-only resources, including the members-only forum, online training and vendor discounts.

New QRCA members will receive a discounted price to attend the upcoming Worldwide Conference on Qualitative Research in Valencia, Spain, May 16-18.

The Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2018 QRCA Awards. Presented at the 2018 QRCA annual conference in Phoenix, Ariz., the awards are split into four categories that reflect significant contributions to the qualitative research profession. Dating back to 2002, the awards have recognized contributions and leadership development for qualitative research consultants from across the world.

“Our 2018 awards recipients have worked tirelessly to advance the discipline of qualitative research worldwide,” said Jay Zaltzman, president of QRCA. “As one of the leading associations of qualitative research consultants in the country and internationally, QRCA is incredibly proud to work with and support such tremendous and dedicated individuals.”

The 2018 award winners are:

Maryanne Pflug Award – Abby Leafe
The Maryanne Pflug Spirit Award is given to a QRCA member who demonstrates “spirit” in the association and upholds and celebrates QRCA’s cultural heritage of collegiality among members. Abby Leafe, current co-chair of the Philadelphia chapter and former president of the QRCA board of directors, was selected by a committee of former Spirit Award recipients as this year’s winner.

President’s Award – Corette Haf
The President’s Award honors the recipient for exemplary service and dedication to QRCA. Corette Haf, a 14-year active member of QRCA, was selected by the board of directors for her outstanding and long-term service to QRCA, especially in the area of outreach and advocacy for QRCA’s international members.

Qualitative Excellence “Qually” Award – Lauren McCrae and Nicole Aleong
The premier award of the qualitative research industry, the Qualitative Excellence or “Qually” Award is bestowed upon the person or team that best exhibits a mastery of knowledge for qualitative methodology and thinking. McCrae and Aleong of Lux Insights received the award for their work on “Deciphering the Curation Quotient,” which responded to a request for proposal aimed at understanding the shifts of consumer habits.

Rising Star Award – Elizabeth Marconi
This Rising Star Award is given to provide recognition and incentive to QRCA members who have less tenure with the association, and yet have made significant contributions to QRCA. This year’s award has been bestowed upon Elizabeth Marconi, who is co-chair of the Membership Committee, active in the Philadelphia chapter and was a former recipient of a QRCA Young Professionals Grant.

The Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) has announced that Lux Insights’ Lauren McCrae and Nicole Aleong have won the 2018 Qually Award. The QRCA Qually Award is presented annually to recognize and promote excellence in qualitative research. Entries are judged on project design, scope and execution, along with the impact on the client’s business objectives. For more information about the Qually Award, including a list of past recipients, visit the QRCA website.

Lux Insights’ proposal, “Deciphering the Curation Quotient,” earned top honors after presenting their approach to fellow QRCA quallies during the annual conference. HatchTank provided the text-based voting platform used to identify the winning proposal and presentation. McCrae and Aleong were selected as the 2018 Qually Award winners from a strong group of three finalists, which included Shaili Bhatt with C+R Research and Kelsey Segalhoff with Chadwick Martin Bailey Inc.

What did they do?
This year the Qually Award Committee secured a Request for Proposal (RFP) idea from a real potential client. Participants only had seven pages to outline their approach and methodology. The McCrae and Aleong proposal landed them in the top three after an anonymous voting round by the Qually Award Committee. The RFP sought to understand the shift toward a more curated shopping experience. With the rise of online retailers such as Amazon and Birchbox (where everything is chosen for you), consumers no longer have to walk store aisles when shopping. The client wanted to uncover the ideal balance between a fully curated shopping experience and total self-discovery.

McCrae and Aleong’s approach centered on a multi-phase, multi-city design, with key elements including:
1) Scanning for online reviews of curated shopping experiences,
2) A dual-focus group approach inspired by Focus Vision’s new Double Take research methodology, and
3) Filming of mobile unboxing events from recruited participants.

To develop the actual curation equation needed for the RFP objectives, McCrae and Aleong realized there is a balancing act between identifying the less/more amount of actual curation and how important these factors were. Key aspects they felt needed to be considered were the renewal/replacement cycle, consumer confidence and consumer preferences.

McCrae, Aleong and the rest of the Lux Insights team decided to donate the $1,000 cash prize to send ten girls to the next G Day in Vancouver, Canada – a day to celebrate 10-12 year old girls and their transition into adolescence.

Over the next few months QRCA will gather RFP ideas for the 2019 Qually Award and will be looking for input.



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