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Travel Awards, Research Awards, Science Fair Awards

The Canterbury Branch of the Royal Society has been proud to support a variety of awards relating to fostering an interest in and assisting the careers of young people in science.

See below for the Guidelines for the Travel and Research Awards. Reports from previous beneficiaries of the RSNZCB awards can be accessed via request, as can information on Science Fair Awards.

Travel Awards, Research Awards, Science Fair Awards

For many years the Canterbury Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand has made travel awards to young scientists to present their work at conferences. The Branch's resources are limited, the awards have not been large, but have assisted applicants in personal scientific research projects, and have enabled many to present the results of their studies at conferences, both in New Zealand and overseas.

The Student Travel Awards scheme currently operates on a monthly basis from February to November. Applications for consideration should reach the branch by the first of each month. Applicants will be notified around the middle of the month after the monthly council meeting. Funds will be distributed among applicants up to the indicated maximum values.


Guidelines (Revised June 2023)

  1. Awards are regarded as Grants-in-Aid to assist New Zealand citizens*, in particular those unable to obtain significant assistance from other sources. Awards are not normally available for the presentation of research associated with full-time employment.

  2. Awards are normally made to young scientists based at a tertiary institution in Canterbury, New Zealand who are engaged in thesis work and will present their results at scientific meetings. In some cases this can include students completing their final year of a Bachelors Honours degree, e.g. BSc(Hons), BE (Hons), BAgSc(Hons).
    Awards may also be available where an opportunity becomes available during the course of study (but not when planned at the commencement of the study) for a student to visit a research institution or similar that would benefit the applicants thesis research

  3. Travel awards will normally be not more than $400 for New Zealand conferences, $700 for Australia/South Pacific, $1000 for Perth and Pacific rim and $1250 for rest of world, Australia. If an award has been granted previously then a $1250 "lifetime" maximum will normally be applied.

  4. If there is a significant shortfall between the total of grants received and the costs of travel a supplemental amount up to 50% of the amount awarded may be granted. The extra amount will help towards 60% of costs but not more.  This supplement is generally available to those without significant other support for their study. This may be applied for when all grants and costs are known by the applicant who should then contact the awards subcommittee with appropriate details.

  5. No award will be made for an application directly relating to logistic support for thesis study.

  6. Applications should be made at least 4 weeks in advance of the conference. Deadlines will be the 8th of each month. Decisions will usually be made within a month of each deadline.

*Proof of Citizenship is required with the application, a scan or photocopy of the photo page of you passport is sufficient. If you are not travelling internationally and don't have a passport then please contact us for advice.


Application Form

Download the Guidelines and Application form (Word 50kb or PDF 132kb) and Mail or Email (preferred) to the Travel Awards Sub-Committee, Canterbury Branch RSNZ, PO Box 8558, Riccarton, Christchurch Email:

Science Promotion Grants

In addition to Travel Awards, the Canterbury Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand will from time to time make small Research and Science Promotion Grants. These are intended to encourage the promotion of Canterbury Science by funding small research and educational projects. The total amount that is granted each year will be dependent of the funding available to the branch


Guidelines (Revised October 2011)

  1. Awards are regarded as Grants-in-Aid to assist, in particular, those unable to obtain significant assistance from other sources.

  2. Applications can be in any field of science (including medicine), should be for purposes consistent with the objects of the branch as stated in our constitution: to advance and promote science, technology and philosophy and have a Canterbury connection.

  3. Typically grants will be no more than $1000 but higher applications may be considered on their merits.

  4. Awards are intended for one-off projects and maybe for small items of equipment but not for large items of capital expenditure. They not intended to be used to support ongoing costs or as a contribution to institutional running costs. However, awards may be made to institutions for a particular purpose.

  5. Grants may be made for conference prizes. Examples may be departmental student conferences or national organizations holding and annual conference in Christchurch


Conditions of Awards

  1. Awards may only be used for the purpose stated in the application, or as otherwise agreed by the RSNZ Canterbury Branch.

  2. A report suitable for publication in the Branch Newsletter, covering the project or recipients will be submitted at the completion of the project.


In considering whether to make an application a potential applicant should contact the branch secretary with a short summary (no more than half a page) to ascertain whether funding is available and the procedure to make a more formal application (which may depend on the nature of the proposal).

In recent years, grants have been made to:
Cotter Medical Trust: Contribution to Microscope collection purchase
Bush Telly: Stand at Ellerslie Garden Show (with natural science emphasis)
Prof Mike Roche/Canterbury University Press: Publication of Prof. Jobberens collected papers
Yellow Eyed Penguin Trust: to support their research (of a speaker we had)

Earlier projects to gain support:
Publication of a book an Canterbury caving
Support for the Rutherford Pickering Memorial in Havelock

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