On this page you will find responses to frequently asked questions regarding the FIRST® in Texas team grant opportunities and application process. These are continually updated, so please review the FAQs any time you have a question about our grants or our process of application and selection. If you have further questions after reviewing the FAQs below, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions on the different FIRST® programs, take a look here.
If you have questions on event registration or grants to support new robotics events, take a look here.
Click the file names to download documents required from grant recipients:
- Blank W-9 (completed form required from all grant recipients)
- 2018-2019 Eligibility Form (completed form required from TWC grant recipients only)
- Blank Sales Tax Exemption Form (completed form required from TWC FIRST Tech Challenge Rookie grant recipients only, if choosing vendor credit)
Grant Award Checklists
For teams who have received a grant, download our handy checklists to ensure you’re doing everything required for the grant:
- Altice Grant Checklist
- Dell Grant Checklist
- Texas Workforce Commission – FIRST Robotics Competition Grant Checklist
- Texas Workforce Commission – FIRST Tech Challenge Grant Checklist
Applying for Team Grants
Where do I apply for a grant?
The Grant Application is available on the FIRST® in Texas website. Applications are accepted via Submittable, and all applicants will need to first create a FREE Submittable account before applying. Please review the FAQs below to make the application process as smooth as possible. The application consists of one page of routine contact, organization and team demographic information, and adult team supporter information. FIRST® in Texas does not expect the application to take longer than 15-25 minutes, not including any follow-up requirements as detailed below.
i coach multiple teams. HOW DO I apply?
You will need to complete a separate application for each team that you coach. Only one application per team may be submitted – please coordinate with your co-coaches or other team contacts to ensure you are submitting a single application.
After completing and saving your first application, you will be redirected back to the FIRST® in Texas Submittable page where you can submit another application.
i’m not from texas. what do i do?
This season, our partners have elected to not support out of state teams. This may change again in the future.
We encourage you to explore grants provided and communicated by FIRST through their Team Grants FAQ and to reach out to your local or state FIRST organizers.
WHat dates do i need to know?
The 2018-2019 Grant Application will open on August 15th, 2018. Once the grant application opens, please start an application as soon as possible so as to give us time to let you know if any corrections are needed on your application.
Take a look at our Grant Calendar for a complete overview of the Grant Cycle, including dates of the review periods, award notification, and award disbursement.
Teams who apply early are more likely to receive a grant.
what information is required for the grant application?
Preparing this information before starting the application will help the process go more quickly.
- Your TEAM ID: This is your Program Acronym + your Team Number.
- Example: if you are FIRST Tech Challenge team #1234, your program acronym is FTC, so your Team ID is FTC1234.
- Program Acronyms are: FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition), FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge), FLL (FIRST LEGO League), and FLLJR (FIRST LEGO League Junior)
- Team IDs should NOT include spaces or symbols.
- Your Team Name
- Your Team Rookie Year (the first Season in which the team number was registered)
- Your Team Area – this may differ from your competitive Region; check our map to determine your Team Area for the Grant Application
- Your School or Organization
- Your School District (if applicable)
- Your Location (City, County, State, Zipcode – use your team’s meeting location for this information)
- Your Team’s website and social media accounts, if applicable (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
- Contact Information (name, email, phone) for the Main and Alternate Coaches, including status as FIRST Alumni, and their School/Company Affiliation
- Highest and lowest grade levels of students on your team
- Number of NEW team members
- Total number of team members
- Team Demographics Counts (including race/ethnicity, gender, disabilities, free/reduced lunch status, home schooled, Title I, etc)
- Adult Team Supporter Information: name, email, school/company affiliation, team role, status as FIRST Alumni (Note: This information helps us to connect additional grant opportunities to teams and provide involvement counts to grantors & sponsors).
FIRST® in Texas does not sell or share any information that is part of the application, except to provide aggregated, unidentifiable information to our grantors and as generalized community statistics.
If your team is awarded a grant, you will be required to submit some additional information, including a W-9 and, if your team receives a Texas Workforce Commission grant award, the Eligibility Form. For more details, please see the question below, “I submitted my application. Now what?”
i only have a temporary team number. is that ok?
If you are a rookie team this year, we expect that your application will include a temporary team number. Teams applying with a 9-digit Temporary Team Number (ex: 201800123) MUST submit the team’s Permanent Number to FIRST in Texas once their national registration fee is paid. Teams who apply with a temporary number will receive reminders via email to submit this information.
All teams who are awarded a grant must complete payment of the national registration fee to FIRST (FIRST Tech Challenge teams pay the fee to Pitsco) within four weeks of receiving notification of a grant award.
will my team be considered for all types of grants?
Yes, teams who submit our Grant Application will be considered for all grants for which they are eligible. There is no separate application for any single grant.
My team’s membership is not final. how should I provide the demographic information?
We understand that the numbers provided may be estimates. We ask you to be realistic and honest in your application, but we know teams will change throughout the season. As long as all required questions are filled out, you will be able to submit your application. We understand that not every team will serve all of the groups asked about, so please simply provide the information that you know or can estimate.
All teams who receive grant awards will be required to complete an End of the Season report at which time you will submit your final demographic numbers for the team.
Do I have to finish the application in one sitting?
No, you may save your application as a draft and return to it later. Submittable will also auto-save your progress as you work on it. However, only completed applications will be reviewed in each Round, so make sure to submit your application prior to the deadline for the first or next upcoming Round – see our Grant Calendar for these dates.
How long do I have to complete the application?
Take a look at our Grant Calendar. You are encouraged to submit your application prior to one of the scheduled Review Rounds; teams may continue to submit applications after the 3rd round, and grants will be awarded until all funds are expended.
I made an error on my application. what do I do?
Once your application is submitted, you will not be able to edit it. Should you need to submit a correction, send an email to email@example.com and make sure to include your TEAM ID in the Subject Line.
I’ve submitted my application. Now what?
You will receive a confirmation email once you submit your application, and the submission will be labeled “Received” in your Submittable account. If there are any outstanding tasks from the previous Grant Season pending for your team, school, or organization, you will receive an email from us with instructions on completing outstanding tasks.
Once FIRST in Texas staff begin reviewing your application for outstanding tasks or other issues, your submission will be labeled “In Progress.” See the next section on “Grant Eligibility and Notification” for more information.
WHEN WILL I HAVE TO SUBMIT ELIGIBILITY DOCUMENTATION?
Teams who receive a Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Grant Award will be required to submit an Eligibility Form. If your team consists of only 9th-12th grade students, we recommend preparing this document in advance, as it will help speed up the process should your team receive a TWC grant. FIRST Robotics Competition teams will have the option to upload their Eligibility Form along with the Team Grant Application. All teams will be required to submit the Eligibility Form if they receive a TWC grant; no funds will be disbursed or applied until the Eligibility Form is submitted. Click here to download a copy of the 2018-2019 Eligibility Form.
How do i know if my Application was submitted successfully?
Once you click “Submit,” you will see a confirmation page, and you will receive a confirmation email. The submission will then be labeled “Received” in your Submittable account.
Grant Eligibility and Notification
What notification will my team receive?
If your team is selected to receive an award in Round 1, you will receive an award notification via email. You will be required to accept (or decline) the award, using the link in the email, within 72 hours. Your team’s submission will then be labeled “Accepted” (or “Declined”).
Rolling Award Rounds: If your team is NOT selected to receive an award in Round 1, you will receive a notification email indicating that your submission has been Declined for Round 1. Within 72 hours, your submission will be re-opened for editing, should you need to make any changes. 24 hours (or earlier) prior to the start of Round 2 reviews, your submission will be closed and placed back in the “In Progress” queue for review in Round 2. This process will be repeated for any subsequent rounds in which your team does not receive an award.
You can see the status of your Submissions when you are logged into your Submittable account. Each Submission will also display a copy of all notification emails that FIRST in Texas sends (under the “Activity & Messages” tab).
How is grant eligibility determined?
FIRST in Texas manages a variety of grants from different grantors. Each grant will have its own set of eligibility and evaluation criteria. Each team’s application will be considered for any / all of the grants for which it meets the eligibility criteria.
Basic Grant Eligibility Requirements:
- Teams must submit a complete application to be considered for a grant.
- All teams submitting a grant application must plan to participate in the upcoming FIRST season.
- Teams will be required to submit proof of participation in the program in the required End of the Season Report.
- Submitting an application does not guarantee funding. All teams should be actively seeking additional funding opportunities.
- Teams who received grant funding during the 2017-2018 season, and failed to complete any grant requirements, will be required to complete the outstanding tasks before being considered for new grants. If you have outstanding tasks to complete, your submission will be put on hold and you will receive an email with instructions on completing the outstanding tasks. Once the tasks are completed, the hold will be removed and we will continue with the review process. **Submissions that are on hold WILL NOT be considered in Review Rounds until the hold is removed.**
Grant Awards and Team Engagement
WHAT ARE GRANT RECIPIENT TEAMS REQUIRED TO DO?
Register for the Season: All teams who are awarded a grant must complete payment of the national registration fee to FIRST (FIRST Tech Challenge teams pay the fee to Pitsco) within four weeks of receiving notification of a grant award.
Update Temporary Numbers: Teams applying with a 9-digit Temporary Team Number (ex: 201800123) MUST submit the team’s Permanent Number to FIRST in Texas once their national registration fee is paid. Teams who apply with a temporary number will receive reminders via email to submit this information.
- *Submit Payment Information (incl. W-9): All teams who are awarded a non-TWC grant will receive an Additional Form to complete in Submittable to provide Payment Information, including uploading a W-9. Awardees will need to complete this Additional Form before any grant funds will be disbursed or applied.
- *Submit Texas Workforce Commission Documents: All teams who are awarded a TWC grant must submit the Eligibility Form. FIRST Tech Challenge teams who are awarded a TWC grant will receive a link in their award email to complete the “TWC FTC Grant Selection” Form, to make selections about how to use the grant funds. More information can be found on the TWC Grant Page. Additionally, FTC teams will be required to submit receipts and other payment documentation; some teams may be required to submit a Texas Sales Tax Exemption Certificate.
- Complete the End of the Season Report: All teams who receive a grant for the 2018-2019 season will receive an Additional Form to complete an End of the Season Report, which will include the following tasks:
Submitting proof of participation in the program (a Team Photo with your robot, and a list of ‘Awards Won’ if applicable)
Submitting final demographic information for your team
Team members complete a post-season Student Survey
Grant applicants complete a post-season Applicant Survey
Submitting a thank-you note for each sponsor supporting the team via a FIRST in Texas Team Grant
*Starred items listed above must be completed in order for grant award funds to be disbursed. No funds will be applied or disbursed until a team’s Payment Information, Eligibility Form (if required), and W-9 are submitted.
ALL items listed above must be completed for a team to be eligible for the next Grant Season (2019-2020). Failure to complete any grant requirements will result in a team / school / organization’s ineligibility to receive FIRST in Texas Team Grants for one full season following the current season.
How will my team’s award be disbursed?
It depends on the grant you receive.
Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) grants have restrictions on the types of costs that can be reimbursed. In most cases we will pay vendors like FIRST®, AndyMark, REV Robotics, and event hosts directly. Refer to the TWC Grant page for a list for allowable costs and more information.
Teams who receive corporate grants from other entities will receive their grant in a single check. These funders typically do not require additional reporting on your expenses, so feel free to use your grant check on any robotics expense you incur. Robotics equipment, tools, marketing materials, travel, and food expenses are all allowable for non-TWC grants.
Grant check disbursements and reimbursements are processed on a regular basis. See our Grant Calendar page for more information.
What are the team engagement guidelines for grants?
We encourage teams to check the Team Engagement page often for ways to engage with all of your sponsors on social media, promote them in your marketing materials, and submit surveys to help us secure grants for the following season. Regardless of where the grant came from or what type of grant it was, this information will help you establish a good relationship with your sponsors.
Why does FIRST® in Texas have team engagement guidelines?
Regardless of where the grant came from or what type of grant it was, this information will help you establish a good relationship with your sponsors. It is important to show your sponsors their impact and these best practices will make future funding more possible.
For the purposes of FIRST® in Texas, the Team Engagement guidelines are based either on the requirements of the relevant funding partner, or on FIRST® in Texas’ strategy to improve service in Texas. They are an essential component of improving and expanding FIRST® in Texas’ services. With this information, FIRST® in Texas is able to provide funding partners with data about the impact of their grant funding. Similarly, the collected data forms the basis of FIRST® in Texas’ funding partner recruitment strategy. The more complete and accurate data we collect, the better we can target areas for increased funding, and the more compelling a case we can make to potential funding partners.
National Registration and Local Event Fees
can grant funds be applied to the national registration fee or local event fees?
In some cases, FIRST in Texas can send grant funds directly to FIRST, and/or local Event Hosts, to cover teams’ fees. However, this option varies both by Program and by Grant Type.
FIRST® National Registration Fee (paid to FIRST via the Dashboard – or to Pitsco for FTC teams only):
- FIRST® LEGO League & FIRST® LEGO League Junior: grant funds CANNOT be directly sent to cover the National Registration Fee; it is up to the team to pay the Registration Fee via the Dashboard.
- FIRST® Tech Challenge: grant funds CANNOT be directly sent to cover the National Registration Fee; teams must pay the Registration Fee up front via the Dashboard. Teams awarded a Texas Workforce Commission grant will have the option to send FIRST® in Texas their receipt of payment in order to receive reimbursement.
- FIRST® Robotics Competition: teams awarded Texas Workforce Commission grants will have their funds (for partial or complete registration fees) sent directly to FIRST® – this is the standard option and cannot be changed. Teams receiving grants from other non-TWC sources may also elect to have their funds sent directly to FIRST. If the FIRST in Texas grant does not cover the full cost of the team’s Registration Fee, the team must pay any remaining portion of the fee. If your team has surplus grant funds, you can request a re-grant via the Dashboard. Re-grants will be available ONLY AFTER you have submitted the required documents, and after FIRST in Texas has sent a check to FIRST with your grant funds. This process may take 4-8 weeks to complete; additional restrictions may apply – for complete details, view the Re-grant Page on the FIRST website. For assistance with re-grants, please call FIRST at 1-800-871-8326.
Local Event Fees (FIRST® Tech Challenge, FIRST® LEGO League, FIRST® LEGO League Junior):
- FIRST® LEGO League & FIRST® LEGO League Junior: grant funds CANNOT be directly sent to cover Local Event Fees; it is up to the team to pay their Local Event Fees to the entity in their Area that is responsible for collecting these fees (event host, Area Coordinator, Affiliate Partner, etc.)
- FIRST® Tech Challenge – TWC Only: Teams receiving Texas Workforce Commission Rookie and Veteran Grants can select to have their Local Event Fees (up to $250.00) directly paid by FIRST in Texas, or, if the team has already paid the Local Event Fee(s), FIRST in Texas will reimburse the team. See the TWC Grant Page for full details.
- FIRST® Tech Challenge – non-TWC Grants: non-TWC grant funds CANNOT be directly sent to cover Local Event Fees; it is up to the team to pay their Local Event Fees to the entity in their Area that is responsible for collecting these fees (event host, Area Coordinator, Affiliate Partner, etc.)
WHERE CAN I GET MORE DETAILS ABOUT MY EVENT?
For any details on events themselves, please get in touch with your local Affiliate Partner / Area Coordinator or Event Host. See our Maps page for more information on who to contact regarding events in your Area.
WHAT EVENTS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR A HOST GRANT?
At the moment, there are no grants available for event hosts. We will update this information once funds become available.