Research Resources

Initiatives and Competitions

Alden G. Clayton Competition

Deadline: August 7, 2017 

The Marketing Science Institute is pleased to announce our annual Alden G. Clayton dissertation proposal competition. The competition is open to qualified doctoral students worldwide who are working on research questions with important marketing, societal, and policy implications. Submissions must be received no later than Monday, August 7, 2017 through the MSI online submittable portal (see link below). MSI will grant up to five awards, and each winner will receive an unrestricted cash prize of $5,000. Honorable mention awards may also be granted. Awards for 2017 will be announced in January 2018.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Students should be candidates for the doctorate in marketing and related fields (e.g., psychology, economics, management, strategy, etc.).

  • The dissertation work must be less than 50% completed at the time of submission. The thesis advisor/chair must submit a letter approving the submission and certifying that the dissertation was no more than 50% completed at the time of submission (found in requirements below).

  • Participation in other grant or award programs does not preclude consideration for this award.

Instructions for submission:

  • For blind reviewing purposes, please remove any identifying information (name, school, etc.) from the proposal document and remove any metadata.

  • Please enter a valid email address for your thesis adviser/chair so they are able to upload their letter properly.

  • Proposals should include a brief statement of the problem area to be researched, relevant theory and hypotheses, the methodology and analyses to be employed, and a brief indicative bibliography. Comment also on the managerial relevance of the expected results.

  • Maximum submission length is 20 double-spaced pages, inclusive of all tables/exhibits and references. The first page should be a brief, self-contained summary of the proposal.

Experienced marketing academics will judge submissions on their potential contribution to business and academia, quality of the conceptual development, feasibility, and appropriateness of methodology, and creativity.

Submit Here

MSI Research Initiative on the Digitized Customer

Deadline: July 1, 2017 (Submissions are now closed)

The Marketing Science Institute (MSI) is pleased to announce an initiative to foster innovative research on the topic of the Digitized Customer. This marks a new phase in this knowledge generation initiative that began with academic - practitioner collaboration on development of specific research questions to pursue. Several member companies now have active research programs that emerged from the collaboration to address these issues. The companies included UPS, AbbVie, Vanguard, IHG, Colgate, and Adobe. We now are requesting new academic research proposals that further build on the work to date. We have allocated a special pool of funds to cover the direct costs of research grants in the range of $3,000 - $7,000. Competitive submissions should propose high quality research on critical questions in this area that are relevant to both academics and marketing practitioners.

The initial MSI Digitized Customer Initiative taskforce was co-chaired by Cait Lamberton, University of Pittsburgh, and Andrew Stephen, University of Oxford. In May 2016, they convened a group of academics and practitioners to discuss the challenges and opportunities emerging from rapidly advancing technologies and changes in the ways customers use technology. Recognizing that research on digitized customers—those whose interactions with companies, brands, products, services, and other customers involve some use of technology (in both physical and virtual worlds) – is yet quite limited, the taskforce sought to identify critical issues for future research.

  • With the shared thinking of academic researchers as well as B2B, B2C, financial services, services, and pharmaceutical firms, they outlined six questions that are relevant to marketers across industries:
  • How “frictionless” should technology-enabled customer experiences be and how “personalized” should technology-enabled marketing actions become?
  • How do marketers steward their brands through social media conversations and find new, value-enhancing uses for social media?
  • How does the digitized customer experience and digitized market environment relate to basic models of consumer information processing and decision making?
  • What is the optimal balance between human and non-human touchpoints in a customer journey?
  • What are the best approaches for gathering and using data from digitized customers, and for ensuring that customers understand how their data are being used?
  • How should marketing and IT work together, from the C-suite down, and within companies, and with partners?

The issues are elaborated in more detail in the White paper generated from the initial collaboration (see White Paper, and posted article.) The goal of this new research phase is to stimulate innovative academic work that will help scholars and managers to understand and improve marketing practice related to the digitized customer.

Submissions will be evaluated using a two-stage process. The initial submission should be a pre-proposal not more than 1,200 words in length describing the proposed research plan (details below). We encourage pre-proposals that involve collaboration between academics and practitioners. MSI will evaluate pre-proposals on a rolling basis, beginning January 1, 2017.

The authors of promising pre-proposals will be encouraged to submit a full proposal (no more than 20 double-spaced pages/10,000 words) for consideration for funding. Those follow-on full proposals will be evaluated – and funding decisions made – on a rolling basis as well. This research process will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of identifying proposals to fund. (For more details on submission of full proposals, see

The process will continue until July 1, 2017. At that point, MSI will continue encouraging and entertaining submissions on this topic; however, those submissions will compete for funding with the larger pool of submitted research proposals on a variety of topics that MSI receives on an ongoing basis. Fifty percent of the funding MSI provides will be paid upon initiation of the project. The remaining 50% will be paid when the Working Paper submission is approved as the final deliverable from the project.

This Competition is Now Closed