DoD Grant Money

So my team received 2.5k from the DoD. Thing is, I have no clue how we got this. Anyone know how?

Someone on your team probably applied for the DoD STEM grant?
They just sent an email today confirming it with all team contacts. Check with your mentors/teachers/admin/etc.

We also received a DoD STEM Grant but we know we got ours. My understanding of how the process works is any DoD employee can submit for a grant on behalf a team. So, if there’s a DoD facility in your area chances are someone there just put your team in for the grant.

Think I can like contact DoD to see who filed it? Even the school advisors for the team had no knowledge about it.

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I would consider contacting FIRST about this. They may be able to shed some light on the situation or at least provide some contact information.

I would consider starting by asking everyone on the team - if a student has a parent that could have applied for it, that may be what happened.

Call FIRST Finance and ask them who you can thank.

First, I’d check to see if there’s a mentor who works for DoD and ask there.

Thanks all. I’ll check on all those.

On the topic of grants, anyone know when the MAR grant is going to be open for next year? Currently still says 2018

Any employee of the 81 DoD laboratories listed on the DoD STEM website can apply for a DoD STEM grant. The applications were due back in June, and require listing points of contact at the school. So whoever submitted your application was indeed in contact with your mentors and/or the school at some point. DoD STEM mentors are expected to be active participants with your team, although perhaps not full-time mentors. Check around your mentor group to find out who works at a DoD laboratory.

FIRST will not have the information regarding which DoD employee submitted your application.

How does the grant receipt in your account read? Is it showing that the money is a Restricted grant from DoD STEM? Or is it showing it as a credit card payment from an individual working with nCASE?

The restricted one from DoD STEM (i think STEM definitely the restricted from DoD though)

Last year we received $7000. It was allocated to be the same again, however, it changed due to the increase no. of teams being supported. As noted in this thread, its $2500 for this season.

They were an 8-year-or-so sponsor of ours. Dumped us this year with no explanation given and no response to email queries about it. We had a really good relationship with their former local representative but they retired this year and its been interesting. Now we’re scrambling to raise funds to we can pay our entry fees which are due in a couple of weeks. Ugh.

I would assume that your former local representative retiring had something to do with you no longer receiving the support.
I have a former student, team mentor and current engineer who works for Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard that allows us to receive the support.

The deniable funding is to support your work on Project [REDACTED]. Congress was not informed. Please do not inquire further. We await your results.

DoD STEM money must be…different for teams not in Ohio. We had heard money had pretty well dried up and most Ohio teams that received DoD STEM grant money in the past were not receiving it.

Glenn, note that the $7000 figure included Championship registration fees. It may appear different given 359’s HoF status meaning guaranteed Championship registration, but the DoD STEM grant has typically been $1500-2000 up front, and then paying for Championship registration for teams that qualify. The $2500 amount is actually an increase over previous DoD STEM/NDEP grants.

Do you have a DoD mentor directly associated with your team? Or were you relying on that “local representative” purely for your grant application? Are you sure that this is the funding avenue you’ve been receiving funds for the past 8 years? DoD STEM is only a few years old as an entity, although the NDEP (National Defense Education Program) was its predecessor. However, even NDEP wasn’t running FRC grants for the past 8 seasons.

As Glenn mentioned, I am pretty sure it has a lot to do with the old rep retiring.
Yes, it was NDEP and then transitioned to DoDSTEM. Last season we had two Navy guys from the Air Force Base (I don’t pretend to know how that works) who just transferred away as mentors and one of our recent grans who mentors just joined the armed forces. We also have recent grads who are interns on base or at the companies that support the base. If I were a sponsor getting this kind of interaction with a team, I would not drop them, but what do I know?

DoDSTEM sponsored two of our teams (FRC and FTC) last year and also paid our 2018 Championship entry fee, which was great (NASA paid it for EI the year before that, so we have been fortunate). We’re appreciate for what they’ve done for us, but definitely bummed to have been shown the door.

Those contacts retiring is likely a cause, but there has been seemingly some significant turbulence with this grant program in general this year. Your DoD mentor will submit your grant application to his local site manager. The site manager then ranks each of the applicants for their respective laboratory. The retirement of your DoD mentor may mean that you either didn’t get submitted at all, or that the local site manager ranked you lower than before (a possibility, especially if your retired rep was the site manager in the past).

But beyond just your local ranking, in prior seasons DoD STEM attempted to accept all applicants and scaled the funding provided accordingly. That doesn’t seem to be the case this season. Quite a few teams who received DoD STEM grants in the past are getting “waitlisted” for grants this season (and communication about this process has been lacking, to say the least). There may still be some funding left for waitlisted teams that will be resolved over the next couple weeks, so don’t lose all hope yet.

Additionally, some pro-active commands have been finding other avenues to fund waitlisted teams. 1712 was waitlisted this year, and ended up receiving funding from NAVSEA via other avenues. Pitcantinny Arsenal has also been providing funding directly from their command for many New Jersey teams for the past few seasons. If you still have a solid contact at all within the DoD organization, you may be able to get funding from the command directly instead of routed through DoD STEM. This funding, however, may not have the championship component.

Unfortunately, just having mentors/grads in the armed forces often doesn’t actually help get a DoDSTEM grant. Unless they’re stationed at one of the 81 DoD laboratories associated with DoDSTEM, they won’t have an opportunity to put in an application on your behalf.