The Forster Prize was established in 2023 to honour the outstanding contribution of Ray and Lyn Forster to New Zealand arachnology, most especially the encouragement they provided to so many researchers in this field. In this spirit, the purpose of this prize is to encourage and support promising arachnologists.

The Forster Prize was created after an initial grant by David Court and the Entomological Society of New Zealand thanks him for his generosity.

The procedure for making research grants is laid down in the society’s rules and is briefly as follows:

Applications are to be received by the Secretary of the Society by 3rd May 2024, although this date may be subject to change. If in doubt, please contact the Secretary. Copies are then sent to the convener of a grants committee, which makes recommendations to the society’s executive. Nominations for research grants must be approved by the executive and announcements of successful awardees are made at the annual general meeting.

The amount available varies from year-to-year, but may potentially be from a pool totaling $20,000. Applications for grants from this fund should be sent to Postal applications should be sent to the address given on the Contact page.

Application Guidelines

Applicants should complete this form.

The main criteria that reviewers will use in assessing applications are the quality of the proposed research in terms of its contribution to the discipline of arachnology in New Zealand, and the ability of the applicant to complete the project. Suitable topics include but are not limited to taxonomy, systematics, behaviour, ecology and conservation.

The Forster Prize was initiated to encourage arachnological research of benefit to New Zealand, and applications are welcome from groups, clubs or individuals whether or not they are members of the society. However, grants will not normally be used to fund research undertaken by staff at Universities, Government Departments or Crown Research Institutes, as the grants are intended to encourage ‘amateurs’ and students. Grants will not be made retrospectively for research underway, nor normally for travel expenses to attend a conference in New Zealand or overseas.

Students applying for a grant are requested to provide a supporting statement from their supervisor. Supervisors should forward their statement directly to the above address, in confidence, before the closing date for applications.

Past recipients


James Roberts—A scanning electron microscopy comparison of the feet of katipō (Latrodectus katipo), false katipō (Steatoda capensis), and redback (Latrodectus hasselti)