The NASA grant for the 2024 season is open as of today: 2023-2024 FRC Sponsorship Grants – Robotics Alliance Project
PLEASE NOTE - It looks like for 2024 this grant is open only for rookie and year-two teams. There will be NO grants for veteran teams. Language the bottom of the page says:
Veteran Teams – Teams that had their FRC Rookie year in the 2022 competition season or earlier, OR was a Rookie in the 2023 competition season and did not receive NASA sponsorship.
- Available Grants:
- There are no Veteran grants being offered this year so that we can prioritize expanding the program through rookie grants.
And, in fact, when I logged into the application system there are no grants available for my team (going into our 8th season).
this is interesting because last year they said that veteran grants would only be considered after all rookie and year-two applications. Maybe they expect a lot more rookie applications, or maybe their budget is lower this year.
Last year they also only awarded 31 grants to rookie teams (not sure about year-two teams) out of 169 total teams.
This is really frustrating to me. I emailed RAP about it but I think the sustaining grant was a great lifeline for teams who suddenly lost a major sponsor. I hope some other organization can step up and fill the void that this creates.
It’s disappointing to see it disappear, but I’m going to put some trust in the RAP folks. After 20-plus years of doing grants, I’m sure they’ve got some data to back up this move.
That said, I do hope someone else comes forward as a source of backstop funding to keep programs alive. (Heck, I’d even be happy to see “bridge year of FTC” funding.)
I like data so I decided to collate NASA grant data for myself. I pulled data on grants for every year from 2003 to 2023 except for 2021.
This one surprised me, I had never read the grant results that closely and had assumed that most were awarded to rookies. Switching to exclusively rookie grants is a large change, I guess I hope this serves NASA’s and FIRST’s goals.
This shows the percentage of teams in each category that returned to play in the years after. 2011 and 2021 are again omitted as sustaining grant data was not available for those years.
I’m not drawing any major conclusions from this, but it was a fun project and it was interesting to see NASA’s grant allocations change over time. Here’s my data if anyone wants to mess with it:
nasaData.xlsx (185.6 KB)
That downward trend from 2011 is telling as well. Thank you for taking the time to graph the data as well as citations
This is just interesting in general. I wonder what things would have been like without the 1.5 years we dealt with COVID. You can really see it in the data here.
It is a huge investment to get a team started and you can really see the impact it had on teams who were getting started and were not near as committed to keep going.