Fuelled by generous supporters and industry partners, FIRST Tech Challenge UK provides financial support to equip schools with a reusable, sustainable robotics provision to transform young lives for years to come.

Making STEM inclusive

We’re on a mission to provide all young people with access to expeditionary learning using robotics. To do that, we offer a range of support aimed at reducing barriers to participation while driving inclusion, diversity and social mobility.

Kit bursaries

Full and partial bursaries are available to schools to assist with the cost of a reusable robotics kit – powering a team of up to 15 learners.

Travel awards

Additional grants are made available during the season for teams requiring assistance with travel or supply teacher costs to attend events.

Applying for financial support

Our 2019 bursary scheme has now closed. Details of funding available to support schools from September 2020 will be announced in the Spring when registration re-opens.



Eligible organisations
Non-fee paying DFE registered UK schools, SEND and Alternative Providers with a secondary provision. Recognised Youth and Community Groups with a Safeguarding Policy in situ will be considered on a case by case basis.

Kit bursaries
Available to organisations who have not previously received such.

Travel awards
Limited availability, advertised in season and may be applied for by any non-fee paying participating team.


We seek to support organisations who serve disadvantaged communities, drive social mobility, inclusion and diversity. We use objective measures of disadvantage such as Pupil Premium/Free-School Meals, social deprivation indexing based on postcode and consider additional context provided during the application to assess the level of financial support offered. We positively encourage applications from organisations promoting diversity in STEM.

Notifying outcome

Applications are assessed on a rolling basis and organisations will typically be informed of outcome by email within 14 days of submitting their application. A grant award letter is issued to successful applicants detailing the amount, duration and terms of the award.


Deferred invoicing
Payment of registration fees and any kit fees is deferred until the autumn term (and new school financial year) – providing time for teams to undertake community outreach and fundraising activities where desired.

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

Full bursary
Teams receiving a full bursary will be issued with an invoice for £149 (+VAT), a kit invoice for £599 (+VAT) and a grant award letter for £599. The total amount payable will be £298 of which £149 is VAT.

50% bursary
Teams receiving a partial bursary will be issued with an invoice for £149 (+VAT), a kit invoice for £599 (+VAT) . The total amount payable will be £597 of which £149 is VAT.

Nil bursary
Teams unsuccessful in an application for financial support will be issued with an invoice for £149 (+VAT) and £599 (+VAT) in respect of the balance due for the robotics kit. The amount payable will be £777 of which £149 is VAT.


Community outreach is a key development opportunity for learners. Fundraising tools and missions to encourage community engagement are embedded in the programme. The majority of teams successfully unlock sponsorship and gift-in-kind from local businesses and their wider school network – gaining a sense of achievement in doing so. Payment of any registration and kit fees is deferred until the autumn term to provide a window for fundraising.

Keeping it simple

For the numbers folk we’ve put together a one-pager detailing how we issue full and partial bursaries, invoices and the treatment of VAT.

Download Conditions of Financial Support

Inclusion partner

Arm orchestrates the performance of technology that’s transforming our lives – from smartphones to supercomputers, medical instruments to agricultural sensors, base stations to servers. Arm’s generosity fuels a bursary programme enabling more young people to harness the power of technology for good.

  • 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.