More than funding

We offer bursaries to make STEM inclusive and accessible to all.

Making STEM inclusive

We’re on a mission to make STEM less intimidating by giving every young person a chance to ‘go pro’. Together with industry partners we:

  • Reduce barriers to participation through kit bursaries
  • Make our virtual and e-learning content open source
  • Provide access to free events
  • Offer travel and supply teacher awards

Our bursary scheme is open to any non-fee paying, DfE registered school, SEND, Alternative Provider, or nationally recognised youth and community group.

“These students come from areas where there are not a lot of opportunities, but this challenge gives them life experience. They get to do things here that they’d only do at university, and this experience is also inspiring many of them to pursue further studies at a university.”

Karl Mahon, Teacher, Chiswick School

The kit that keeps on giving

Our comprehensive robotics kit is a reusable provision with no recurring cost.

The starter kit squeezes in over 1300 components, including tablets for programming. Each year, get a free add-on kit with additional parts to tackle the annual game. At the end of the season, dismantle and repeat. It’s that easy.

Check out the starter kit

FIRST Tech Challenge UK - funding page - reusable kit 2

All of this for only £49?

Yep. We’re a charity here to make STEM inclusive. Our nominal £49 commitment fee provides access to educational content, unrivalled support, free events, rich encounters with industry and accredited student awards.

Conditions of Entry

Girl with star_yellow

Getting you back on track

As part of our promise to support team recovery this year, all £49 commitment fees will be waivered for teams who took part or deferred their place last season.

Grab a bursary

Our industry-backed bursary programme funds provision for a limited number of teams each year. Find out if you’re eligible and how to apply:

Eligibility

Bursaries are only available to non-fee paying DfE registered schools – including SEND and Alternative Providers with a secondary provision. Nationally recognised Youth and Community Groups with a documented Safeguarding Policy are considered at FIRST UK’s discretion.

Returning teams
Bursaries will be considered for organisations expanding their provision with a clear delivery plan.


Criteria

We support organisations serving disadvantaged communities, driving social mobility and promoting inclusion. We use measures of disadvantage including Pupil Premium, social deprivation indexing and additional context provided during the application.


Notifying outcome

Organisations will typically be informed of the bursary outcome by email within 14 days of applying. Successful applicants are issued award letters detailing the amount, duration and terms of the bursary with 14 days to accept.


Invoicing

Commitment fees
Payment of any applicable commitment fee is due within 30 days of an invoice being raised. Invoices will not be raised until you have been notified of any application for financial support.

Treatment of VAT
In line with our charity status and HMRC guidance the charity invoices all commitment fees and any kit fees inclusive of VAT at 20%. Educational establishments are able to fully recover any VAT component.

Kit bursary invoicing
Teams receiving a kit bursary will be issued with an invoice for a £49 commitment fee and £799 kit fee (+VAT). A -£799 bursary credit will be applied to the invoice.

The total amount payable will be £218.60, of which £169.60 is VAT and fully recoverable by the school. Download a nifty breakdown here.

Fundraising

Fundraising
Community outreach is a critical development opportunity for teams. Fundraising missions and tools are embedded within the programme to support this activity. The majority of teams raise sponsorship or gift-in-kind funding from local businesses, which often support travel costs to events and team branding.

Keeping it simple

For the numbers folk, download a one-pager about bursaries, invoicing and the treatment of VAT.

Download Bursary Conditions

Inclusion Partner

If you haven’t heard of Arm, you’ve definitely held their technology in your hands. Their chips make our robots intelligent, their generosity powers kit bursaries to make STEM more inclusive and their people mentor our teams.

Arm

Build more than robots

Register a team to take on the UK’s most epic STEM programme for young people. You can apply for financial support during the application.

Register a team now

  • We build More Than Robots

    We invest in the young people who will invent the future. We’re a tech charity using robots, role models and competitions to equip young people with the technical know-how and soft skills to thrive.