TRA Grants

Since its incorporation in 1978, The Robertson Association (TRA) has supported caving through grants.
The application process is outlined below.

  • Grants should be related to TRA’s stated purpose: … “the study and science of speleology, the development of safe caving techniques and equipment, the protection of caves and their natural content, and the promotion of fellowship among those interested therein.”
  • Grants will be evaluated on the concept, explanation and capacity to complete it as described.
  • Project funding should be spent within one year of receipt.
  • We do not fund individual or group travel, previously purchased items, or personal equipment.


  1. Grant requests must be submitted by July 15, each year. Late requests will not be accepted.
  2. Grant recipients will be notified prior to OTR, and grant checks will be presented during the Sunday night Awards Program. If a recipient or representative cannot be present, the grant check will be mailed to the address provided.
  3. Final or initial results must be reported to TRA by OTR the following year or funding must be returned.
  4. Recipients must participate in the Grants Roundtable to explain their project and how TRA contributed to it. Participation can be in person, through a poster displayed during OTR, or via a PowerPoint detailing your project.
  5. TRA requires a written report upon completion of the project and all grantees are encouraged to publish any results in national or regional caving publications. All publications are required to reference TRA as a funding source.
  6. Projects will be mentioned on the TRA Grants webpage. (Recent Grant Recipients)
  7. Fill out the Grant Application form here.

What we need from you:

  1. Who is applying? Group or individual.
  2. Who will lead the project? How many people will it take to complete it and over what time period?
  3. Who is the financial officer (Grotto Treasurer, etc.) who will handle the money? We will need all contact info to award a grant.
  4. How much money do you need to complete your project?
    • Will TRA be your only source of funding? (Our grants are generally in the $500 range)
      • Please list all confirmed and potential partners.
  5. Who does your project serve? (public, landowners, new cavers, scientific community, etc.)
  6. How does it benefit the greater caving community? How does it relate to TRA’s goals?
  7. What output or product will result from this grant? (a gate on a cave for a landowner, a publication, search and rescue equipment, etc.)
  8. Explain your goals for the project.
  9. Explain your timeline for the project.
  10. Describe your work plan.
  11. How will you determine the success of your project?
  12. How will you disseminate the results? (NSS News, regional caving publications, etc.)


Your project will be evaluated by the grant committee consisting of individuals with diverse caving and professional backgrounds. The following criteria will be used:
Project should be worthwhile and of benefit to the caving community and adequately explained so we thoroughly understand your ideas.
Is your plan workable with realistic timelines and goals?
Have you demonstrated capacity to complete the project successfully?
Is your budget realistic?
Does your project support TRAs goals and purpose?

Please direct specific questions to:

The submission deadline is July 15, of the current year.