On this page you will find responses to frequently asked questions regarding FIRST® in Texas’s 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, please consider contacting us.
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.
Applying for Team Grants
Where do I apply for a grant?
The Grant Application is is available on the FIRST® in Texas website. The application is a database form FIRST® in Texas created using Ragic. Please review the FAQs below to make the application as smooth as possible. The application consists of one page of routine contact, organization and team demographic information, and adult team support information. FIRST® in Texas does not expect the application to take longer than 30 to 45 minutes, not including any follow-up paperwork 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. After completing and saving your first application, click the red “+New” button that appears at the top left hand corner of the screen to start a new application. You can go back to your previous applications by clicking the Left Arrow button that appears beside the red “+New” button.
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 our to your local or state FIRST organizers.
WHat dates do i need to know?
The grant application opens on Thursday, September 1st. 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.
While we will continue to accept applications until all grants are awarded, we recommend teams to adhere to the following schedule (click to enlarge):
what information is required for the grant application?
Preparing this information before starting the application will help the process go more quickly.
- Program (FRC, FTC, FLL, FLL Jr) & Team Number (remember that each team must apply separately)
- Team Name & Region
- School/Organization, recommended to complete additional spaces for other affiliations/ISDs, etc.
- Rookie Year
- Location (City, State, County)
- Tax ID (EIN) & W-9 of entity receiving checks for team
- Photo Release Forms (required, but may be sent after submitting the application)
- Eligibility Form (required for High School Aged teams only)
- Team Social Media (recommended)
- Two Adult Contacts First & Last Names, plus working Phone & Email contact information (individuals who coach/mentor/work with the team)
- Optional Financial/Accounting Contact Information
- Shipping & Billing Addresses
- Highest and lowest grade level of students on your team
- Number of Students on Team
- Team Demographics Counts (including race/ethnicity, gender, disabilities free/reduced lunch status, home schooled, Title 1, etc)
- Team Adult Support: Names, Involvement Status, Contact Information, Company/Organization Affiliation, & Alumni status. (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.
After submitting, you will also need to provide any relevant paperwork for your application to be considered truly complete. All teams will need to submit photo release forms and high school aged teams will need to complete eligibility forms. 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. However, in order to give a grant award, we need to know that your team has finished the registration process and has been given a permanent team number. Our application accommodates this process by asking for your current team number (temporary or permanent). Once you have a permanent team number, please update your application.
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 will be estimates. We ask you to be realistic and honest in your application, but we know teams will change throughout the season. You will be able to make changes to your application. As long as all required questions are filled out, you will be able to click ‘Save’ to submit. 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. You may also continue to add information to your form after clicking ‘Save’. An email from Ragic (our database system) will be sent to your listed “Grant Applicant Email”, sending you a link to return to and modify your application.
The application asks for information I don’t know. What should I do?
FIRST® in Texas reviews the grant application as a whole. As long as all required questions are filled out, you will be able to click ‘Save’ to submit. 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. You may also continue to add information to your form after clicking ‘Save’. An email from Ragic (our database system) will be sent to your listed “Grant Applicant Email”, sending you a link to return to and modify your application.
Do I have to finish the application in one sitting?
You must enter all required information in one sitting, however, you may access and modify your application after you have submitted it. Once you have completed your application and clicked “Save” to submit it, an email from Ragic (our database system) will be sent to your listed “Grant Applicant Email”. This email will provide a URL link that allows you to to return to and modify your application.
Grants are NOT awarded on a first-come-first-served basis until the national and local event registrations are due, at which time we will make decisions on the applications we have.
How long do I have to complete the application?
Take a look at our Grant Calendar! You are encouraged to submit your application before one of the two review periods, but may continue to submit applications until we run out of grants.
I’ve submitted my application. Now what?
If you submitted your application with a temporary team number, we will require you to update and submit your permanent number when you receive it.
If your team is from Texas and has 9th-12th grade students only, you will need to submit the Eligibility Form (.docx). This form is required for your application to be considered complete. This form can be uploaded when you submit your application by clicking the paperclip in the entry box. If you have already submitted your application, you can use the link sent by Ragic to return to and upload your forms.
We need the Photo Release Forms (.docx) from all students on every team and these are required for your application to be considered complete. This is required by our funding partners, who want to see social media/photo engagement with the teams their grants fund and want to be able to use those photographs in marketing materials.These forms can be uploaded when you submit your application by clicking the paperclip in the entry box. If you have already submitted your application, you can use the link sent by Ragic to return to and upload your forms.
FIRST® in Texas does not share or sell any information that is part of these forms. The Eligibility Form will only ever be shown to the grantor, the Texas Workforce Commission, upon request for verification of eligibility reports.
WHEN WILL I HAVE TO SUBMIT ELIGIBILITY DOCUMENTATION?
Any Texas team with only 9th-12th grade students will be asked to submit the Eligibility Form (.docx) along with their application. Their application will not be considered complete until it has been submitted. This form can be uploaded when you submit your application by clicking the paperclip in the entry box. If you have already submitted your application, you can use the link sent by Ragic to return to and upload your forms.
How do i know if my Application was submitted successfully?
When you have clicked “Save”, your information is submitted to our database and a Left Arrow button and a red “+New” button should appear at the top left hand corner of the screen (which allows you to start a new application). Clicking the Left Arrow should show you a list of your saved applications.
You will also receive a confirmation email from FIRST® in Texas within a week of submitting your application.
I have not received my confirmation email WITHIN A WEEK, what should i do?
The confirmation email will be sent out by FIRST® in Texas within a week of the application being submitted. If you have not received it, please check your spam folder and any firewall you may have set up to ensure that it is allowing our mail to reach you. It is also possible that the email was delayed (particularly if your school/organization has an aggressive anti-spam filter). If you still have not received a confirmation email after a reasonable time, please contact us.
Grant Selection and Notification
What notification will my team receive?
Teams will be notified as soon as a decision has been made, whether or not they have been selected for a grant. This is a rolling process.
what does being waitlisted this mean?
Teams may be placed on the waitlist for a specific grant. A team may be on multiple grants’ waitlists. In the event that a selected team withdraws, is unable to document eligibility, or chooses to decline the grant they were selected for, teams will be chosen from the waitlist. Teams on the waitlist will also be considered for any new grant opportunities that may develop throughout the season.
Why are waitlisted teams asked to provide the Eligibility form?
To increase the speed we can provide grant opportunities to teams on the waitlist, we will collect eligibility documentation as soon as possible after the team has been placed on the waitlist. In the event that a grant opens up and a waitlisted team has not submitted the relevant documentation, we reserve the right to skip that team and offer the grant to the next team on the list.
Grant Awards and Team Engagement
How will my team’s award be disbursed?
It depends on the grant you receive. All TWC grants have restrictions on the types of costs that can be reimbursed. As often as possible, we prefer to pay vendors like FIRST®, Andymark, PITSCO, REV Robotics, and event hosts directly. In the event that your team needs to be reimbursed for costs from their TWC grant, refer to the list below for allowable costs.
Allowable TWC costs include: robot parts, tools, equipment, technology, and marketing materials. No single item can cost over $5,000, and receipts/proof of payment must be submitted. No submitted receipts can include any non-allowable costs (food, drinks, travel).
Teams who receive grants from Dell, 3M, NXP, or other corporate grants will receive their grant in a single check. These funders 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.
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.
I REGISTERED MY TEAM! HOW DO I PAY?
FIRST® Registration Fee:
- FIRST® LEGO League & FIRST® LEGO League Jr.: grant funds will be sent as a check directly to the team; it is up to the team to pay their registration fee.
- FIRST® Tech Challenge: awarded Texas Workforce Commission funds can be used to reimburse payments that have been made directly to FIRST®; teams must send FIRST® in Texas their receipt of payment. All other grants will be sent as a check directly to the team; it is up to the team to pay their registration fee.
- FIRST® Robotics Competition: awarded Texas Workforce Commission funds (for partial or complete registration fees) will be sent directly to FIRST®. All other grants will be sent as a check directly to the team; it is up to the team to pay their registration fee.
Local Event Registration Fees (FTC, FLL, FLL Jr.):
- If registering for events with FIRST® in Texas, your teams will receive an invoice prior to registering for their event.
- Payment can be made as follows:
- Texas Workforce Commission funds will be automatically applied.
- All other grants will be sent as a check directly to the team; it is up to the team to pay their registration fee.
- Teams may elect to send a check to FIRST® in Texas.
- Teams wishing to pay with credit card will be sent a link to pay in Eventbrite. Teams must cover the processing/service charges.
- If your Affiliate Partner/Event Host is collecting event registration fees:
- FIRST® in Texas will work with affiliate partners to cover registration fees for Texas Workforce Commission awarded teams.
- Texas Workforce Commission funds can be reimbursed with a receipt of payment sent to FIRST® in Texas.
- All other grants will be sent as a check directly to the team; it is up to the team to pay their registration fee.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I REGISTERED for an event?
If you are registering for an event with FIRST® in Texas through Eventbrite, Eventbrite will send you a confirmation email. If this email has not come after 24 hours, either check your spam inbox or it’s possible there was an error in your information. If you are concerned about this possibility, please contact us.
WHERE CAN I GET MORE DETAILS ABOUT MY EVENT?
For any details on the event itself, please get in touch with your event host.
ARE THERE FORMS I NEED TO BRING TO THE EVENT?
Your event host will be able to tell you if there are things that need to be brought to the event.
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY INVOICE?
Our finance department will be sending invoices to teams early in the season before teams register for events. If you need it sooner than it is coming, please contact us. Once payment is received and event registration, you will be eligible to register.
HAS MY PAYMENT BEEN RECEIVED?
If you are unsure whether or not your payment has been received, please get in touch with us and we can check for you. Thanks!
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.
WHAT IS ALLOWABLE UNDER TWC EVENT GRANTS?
Allowable TWC Costs: robot parts, equipment, t-shirts, signage/marketing materials, lighting, chairs/tables, and trophies
Non-Allowable TWC Costs: food, drinks, travel associated costs like hotel/buses/airfare, and payroll
No single item can cost over $5000 and receipts must be submitted to receive your grant. No submitted receipts can include any non-allowable costs.
CAN [FIRST] IN TEXAS RUN EVENT REGISTRATION FOR MY EVENT?
Yes, we are able to provide that service. For more details, contact us.
DOES [FIRST] IN TEXAS SUPPORT OFF-SEASON REGISTRATION?
Yes. Hosts can contact us for more information.