FIRST Robotics Program
St. Louis, MO
The Monsanto Fund supports FIRST Robotics teams in communities where Monsanto employees live and work to inspire and nurture students’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and math.
FIRST’s mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build the skills needed, inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.
- We support FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), FIRST LEGO League (FLL) and FIRST LEGO League Junior (FLL Jr.) teams for K to 12th grade students.
- We prioritize teams that demonstrate diversity to maximize impact. Examples are female led teams, racially or gender diverse teams and economically diverse teams.
We accept FIRST Robotics Grant applications from eligible Monsanto U.S. site communities on an annual basis. The application period begins August 15 and closes September 15 at 11:59:59pm CT. Eligible communities are listed in the Request a Code link. If your team is not located within 30 miles of a listed community, you are not eligible to apply for a grant.
If you are an organization looking for support for multiple FIRST teams, please contact us for application instructions at USGrant.Questions@Monsanto.com.
The application is now closed. Please check back with us when the application reopens.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Process & Timeline
- Program Information
What types of teams are eligible to apply for FIRST Robotics grants from the Monsanto Fund?
School Districts or Organizations who hold a 501©3 tax exempt status and have been operating as a 501©3 for a minimum of two years
School Districts or Organizations who are units of government under Section 170©(1), such as public schools, libraries, villages and municipalities.
Organizations must be located within 30 miles of one of the eligible site communities available by selecting "Request a Code" in the "How do I get started" box above.
What kinds of teams will be considered for funding?
FRC Rookie Teams (first year FIRST teams)
FRC Veteran Teams
FIRST LEGO League Teams
FIRST LEGO League Junior Teams
What types of requests are not eligible for FIRST Robotics grants?
Teams that are not yet registered through FIRST as an official team
What is the process for applying to the Monsanto Fund?
FIRST Robotics applications are accepted on an invitation only basis. To apply, applicants must obtain the invitation code from the Monsanto site contact in the team’s local community. All eligible teams must be located within 30 miles of a Monsanto eligible site community. If you do not have a contact at the Monsanto site, you may submit a summary of your team and select your eligible site community through the “Request a Code” link on this page. The Monsanto Site contact will get back to you with a response.
What is the deadline for grant applications?
Applications are accepted once per year. Grant seekers can apply August 15 – September 15. Access to the online grant application will close at 11:59:59pm CT on September 15. No grant applications will be accepted after the window has closed.
What additional information will I need to submit with my grant application?
All grant applicants are expected to upload an Expense Template with a description of expenses associated with the project.
How do I submit an application?
- Log into the application via the links provided above and click the "Start a New Application" link located at the bottom of the Welcome page.
- Within each section of the application click the "Save and Proceed" button at the bottom of each page until you reach the end of the application, or click the last link in the timeline at the top of the page.
- You are brought to the “Review Your Application” page. (You cannot proceed to this page until you have completed all required fields on each page.)
- Click the "Submit" button. Once submitted you can no longer make any changes.
- If you have questions, click the "Need Support" button located at the bottom of the page.
When and how will we be notified if we will be receiving a grant?
Grant decisions will be communicated by email in November.
If we are not selected, will the Monsanto Fund provide feedback on our application?
Due to the high volume of applications received and the Monsanto Fund’s small staff, we are unable to provide feedback on individual applications.
How do I become a registered FIRST team?
To register a FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team, grades 9-12, click here
To register a FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) team, grades 7-12, click here
To register a FIRST LEGO League (FLL) team, grades 4-8, click here
To register a FIRST LEGO League Junior (FLL Jr) team, ages 6-10, click here
To learn more about team registration and frequently asked questions, click here
What types of requests will the Monsanto Fund NOT fund?
Activities that directly support Monsanto Company marketing programs
Projects in which the Monsanto Company has a financial interest or could derive a financial benefit through cash or rights to intellectual property
Organizations that discriminate based on race, creed, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age or national origin
Organizations that discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation (real or perceived), or any other characteristic protected by applicable United States federal or state law.
What is the maximum size grant we can apply for?
A FRC Rookie Team can apply for a $6,000 grant
A FRC Veteran Team can apply for a $5,000 grant
A FTC Team can apply for a $1,500 grant
A FLL Team can apply for a $300 grant
A FLL Junior Team can apply for a $300 grant
If our team receives a grant, how will payments be made?
All grant funds will be provided directly to FIRST and applied to the appropriate team account. Once payment has been made for any competition fees, teams can request a re-grant from FIRST through their standard process to utilize any remaining funds.
Can we apply for a multi-year grant?
No, these are one-year grant commitments.
Must the team we are applying with be a rookie team or can it be a veteran team?
You can apply as either a rookie team OR a veteran team. If it is a veteran team, please describe previous successes as well as information on funding in the past and why you need funding from the Monsanto Fund at this time. If you are a rookie team, provide as much information as you can regarding funding need and plans for fundraising.
If our team does not have a Monsanto employee as a mentor, are we still eligible to apply?
Yes. Teams are encouraged to have Monsanto employees involved, but this is not a requirement.
What do reviewers look for in applications?
- Clear team goals
- Clear team details
- Clear description of who will be on the team including mentors, with numbers of participants and diversity of participants
- Clear and realistic team goals
- Clear description of how the team’s activities and impact may continue beyond the life of the grant
- Clear description of how the grant will be used, including clear calculations and relevant cost explanations
My application was returned, how do I resubmit?
- Login to your previously submitted application and make the requested changes.
- Within each section of the application click the “Save and Proceed” button at the bottom of each page until you reach the end of the application, or click the last link in the timeline at the top of the page.
- You are brought to the “Review Your Application” page. (You cannot proceed to this page until you have completed all required fields.)
- Click the "Submit" button. Once submitted you can no longer make any changes. If you have questions, you can click on the "Need Support" button at the bottom of each page.
What are the specific reporting requirements?
Grantees will be asked to report to the Monsanto Fund at end of the grant period. An online template will be provided to grantees to report the outcomes of team goals and report financial expenditures. Grantees will be notified by email when impact reports are available and when reports are due.