Who We Are

Mercian Research Associates (MRA) is a research and evaluation consultancy, with particular experience in voluntary sector and community based projects, children's services, substance misuse and equalities and diversity.

We have a flexible, client-centred approach, working in partnership with other consultants to consolidate necessary skills for particular research and evaluation projects.

MRA is owned by Deborah Sambor MSc. From 2001 to 2003 she was employed as the senior researcher by We Research It Ltd (WRI) and formed Mercian Research Associates in 2003. She has associates from many backgrounds, allowing her to draw upon an array of expertise for a wide range of research topics.

Deborah plans and leads projects alone, works with associates or as part of other teams as appropriate on specialist elements of research or evaluation.


Deborah has a BSc Hons in Psychology and a MSc in Social Science Research Methods, a Certificate in Counselling (Drugs and Alcohol) and a Diploma in Hypnotherapy. For the last 9 years she has concentrated on the field of social research and evaluation, and currently also works at an operational level supporting drug and alcohol users for a voluntary sector organisation. She also offers training and support in accounts systems and recording for people setting up small businesses.

Deborah has fifteen years experience in accountancy and audit roles for the statutory, voluntary and private sectors. Seven years of this was spent as a trustee and treasurer at branch and regional level for a large national charity.

Audit, monitoring and financial management experience provides real-world knowledge invaluable in making informed recommendations. Deborah's background of working in the public, private and voluntary sectors gives hands-on grounding in diverse research topics and partnership working.

She served four years (2005-2008) as a UK Evaluation Society (UKES) council member and five years as the lead organiser for the Midlands UKES network.

Research Examples

Deborah has been involved in a large number of research and evaluation projects. For simplicity, a few examples are set out here under specific headings. Research experience is not limited to these topics.

Equalities and Diversity

Education and Children's Services

Health and Substance Misuse

Voluntary Sector

Further Information

For any enquiries, please contact Deborah Sambor:
Tel: 0775 3696996
Email: debs@mercianresearch.co.uk