This is an invitation I received to participate in a survey through my student email account. It appears that the University of Minnesota gave it's students information out to this company as a potential research audience.
Here is a description of the company taken from their website:
"The NPD Group, founded in 1967, is the leading global provider of integral market research data to Fortune 500 companies in a wide range of industries. Our research is an essential component in the strategic planning of over 1,700 manufacturers and retailers, and our insight into the marketplace enables them to make fact-based, profitable business decisions.
NPD utilizes two types of information in order to provide our clients with a comprehensive view of the marketplace -- point-of-sale (POS) data directly from retailers, and consumer data from members of the NPD Research team. POS data tells us what people are buying, and your survey input fills in the who, what, where and why. Combined, they provide NPD's clients with an unparalleled understanding of how to best succeed in a turbulent economy."
NPDOR (NPD Online Research) is a MRA (Marketing Research Association) member that follows the code of marketing research standards.