Meet the game-changers. The ground-breakers. And the innovators.

We know the power of research. Some of the world’s biggest companies and most successful products were born out of academic research. Seat belts, toothpaste, GPS, spreadsheets, radios and rocket fuel – they all started as academic research projects.

Find out which projects we’re supporting through the 2018 Qualtrics Academic Bursary and sign up to hear when applications open for the 2020 awards.


Name Alexandra Henley

University Oxford University

Grant £7,500

Assessing executive function in early years development

Executive function is a set of skills we all learn at an early age – things like stopping ourselves from doing something. Its development is strongly linked to better performance in school and subsequently health, wealth and happiness in life.

Alexandra’s winning project looks to help identify what sets children apart in the crucial first 3 years of life when executive function develops and start to understand how and when we can intervene early to give those most in need the best chance to succeed.

Using Qualtrics, the study will look to scale the research by developing a parent-led assessment for executive function in children aged 10 to 30 months. By allowing parents to report on behaviours at home will help the team develop new ways to identify which children need assistance to level the playing field.

Name Ans Vercammen

University Imperial College London

Grant £4,500

Nature and it’s effect on human health and wellbeing

There’s plenty of research that demonstrates how a lack of access to open spaces like parks, nature reserves, lakes and oceans can increase the risk of poor health and wellbeing.

But despite the evidence, policymakers around the world continue to increase the rate of urbanisation.

Ans Vercammen’s winning project plans to use Qualtrics to close the evidence gap, and provide policy makers with vital data that links different activities to health and wellbeing.

By proving those links, it is hoped it will lay the groundwork for a deeper understanding of the benefits of access to open spaces that can inform policy makers going forward.

Name Rose Turner

University Kingston University

Grant £3,000

Experience-sharing and the link to altruism

Rose Turner’s research into the impact of works of fiction on our ability to develop empathy has already received international press coverage. The finding that reading makes you a better person (to quote the headlines!) turned the existing thinking on how we develop empathy, on its head.

While most current thinking focuses on mentalising – putting yourself or others in an imaginary state and thinking ‘how would I react?’ – Rose’s research looks at a new approach called experience-sharing.

The next part of her research will look at why – why does experience-sharing with fictional characters lead to altruistic behaviour? Why is it more accurate to immerse yourself in a story than mentalising a scenario? And why do some genres of fiction have a greater impact than others?

With a £3,000 grant for Qualtrics Research Services, we can’t wait to hear the results…


Entries for the 2019 bursary are now closed – we’ll be opening them again later in the year for the 2020 Academic Bursary.

To find out when entries open, join our mailing list and we’ll email you with all the details as soon as they do.