Marie Heim-Vögtlin Prize 2013 awarded to marketing researcher Lucia Malär

Lucia Malär, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Bern, is to receive the Marie Heim-Vögtlin (MHV) Prize 2013 for her research into brands and how consumers react to them. The SNSF is awarding this prize in recognition of the outstanding research and career development of a woman researcher who has received an MHV grant.

In her research, Lucia Malär focuses on a key area of marketing: she is interested in the consumers' perception of brands and the implications for brand management and marketing research. Lucia Malär established herself in this highly-competitive area with research results that are highly relevant to the practical realm. Her empirical research into the role of the self-image of consumers showed that consumers are not attracted to brands that convey an ideal self-image - as might be expected - but rather to brands that reflect the way they actually see themselves. They reject glossy consumerism in favour of something more real and down to earth.

Important publications thanks to part-time work

Lucia Malär studied Business Administration at the University of Bern and, in 2008, she gained her doctoral degree there at the Institute of Marketing and Management. Her daughter was born in the same year. As a postdoc, she secured an MHV grant that allowed her to work part-time and focus on her research and publishing. This led to the publication of two important papers which were crucial in securing her current employment as a job-sharing assistant professor at the University of Bern.

The career of Lucia Malär shows that it is possible to combine research work and childcare duties even during the crucial postdoc years. Her position as a job-sharing assistant professor will hopefully inspire other young women researchers to belief in and pursue the compatibility of family and a career in research. The prize, worth CHF 25,000, will be awarded on 1 November 2013 at the conference "Job-sharing in the academy and in practice" in Berne (see conference programme).

New perspectives thanks to MHV grants

Since 1991, the SNSF has awarded MHV grants to promising woman researches whose academic careers have been slowed down or interrupted by family care duties. The grants make it possible to combine research work with family life. They improve the grantees integration in academia and their prospects of pursuing a career in research.