Cycle 15 Final Grants Roundup

We have reached the end of Season 4.

Season 4 has been an inflection point for the grants program, during which the review process went from a system that worked in theory to a system that is strengthened by practice. The Grants Council has by no means perfected the art of reviewing proposals, but it has continuously refined a process for honing community review and reaching consensus between elected reviewers.

Season 4 has been a story of growth.

On average, the Cycles in Season 4 saw a 34% increase in proposals relative to Season 3 Cycles. There were approximately 306 proposals for the Experiments and Builders tracks, apart from over 70 proposals responding to requests for grants (“RFGs”).

The Council scaled its process to accommodate the growing demand for Optimism grants. Each sub-committee refined rubrics tailored to the goal of Intent 2 (Innovating on Novel Applications), and the reviewers learned how to provide robust, yet efficient reviews to manage substantial growth.

It is time to bring the Grants Council review process to a close. Here is the list of finalists for Cycle 15 for Builders and Experiments proposals.



Rubrics for the Final Review are available here for Builders and here for Experiments.

Cycle 15 Roundup

Cycle 15 presented a diverse set of proposals that the Council found carried forward the Season 4 intent of innovating on novel applications. The Finalists represent a mix of geographies and disciplines as well as projects that are familiar and new to Optimism.

The Council has noticed a consistent increase in the professionalism of the proposals and the proposers. Proposers put in the work to learn how the grants process works, and the Council worked hard to deliver a high-functioning process. To date, the Council has not had to use the Proposer Conduct portion of the Sub-Committee rubrics. The Council believes that when you have high expectations for proposals, the proposers meet and exceed those expectations.

Cycle 15 was the most selective of Season 4. Relative to the initial set of proposals, ~22.1% of projects became finalists. While a relatively higher proportion of projects passed the Intake Filter, both the Preliminary Review and Final Reviews in Cycle 15 had lower yield rates than Cycle 14. Both Sub-Committees were more selective in this Cycle, with Experiments proposals dropping to a 14% success rate and Builders proposals dropping to ~30%.

The chart below shows approximate success rates from initial proposal to the list of Finalists for Seasons 3 and 4 in aggregate as well as each of the Cycles in Season 4.

S3 Final C13 Final C14 Final C15 Final S4 Final
Total 33.8% 25.0% 29.2% 22.1% 25.3%
Experiments 27.1% 21.3% 20.4% 14.0% 18.5%
Builders 45.5% 28.1% 38.3% 29.6% 31.6%

Cycle 15 was the only Cycle in Season 4 in which Experiments finalists were recommended at award level greater than 150k OP. In this Cycle, the full council voted on each of the five Experiments proposals above that threshold. None of the Builders proposals were recommended for the highest amount (50k OP) for that Sub-Committee.

The Cycle 15 Finalists represent proposed grants of 1.7M OP. In total, recommended grants for Experiments and Builders for Season 4 amount to ~4.9M OP. While the Council proposed a higher allocation for grants through a proposal to change the use of rewards designated (but unused) for other intents, the Council expects ~1.41M OP that had been designated for Intent 2 to be returned. This amount includes some portion of rewards designated for RFGs that will be returned (as detailed in a forthcoming RFG post).

A more detailed view of the estimated review and budget figures for Season 3 and Season 4 can be found in the image below.

It has been a great pleasure for the members of the Council to work toward making Optimism the best destination for Web3 participants and builders. It is our sincere hope that the process that the Council has endeavored to build helps further the community’s ability to achieve the goals of the Optimism Collective.

Finalists can expect outreach from the Foundation in October to cover KYC details. Milestones will be posted as a comment to this post after they have been adopted by vote of each of the respective Sub-Committees.

*The conferral of a grant is not an explicit or implicit promotion or endorsement of the projects, their representations, or their underlying products but rather an acknowledgment that the projects’ applications were deemed most suited to receive a grant given the parameters applied by the mandate of Season 4 governance. Grantees accept grants subject to terms, including those outlined in the Internal Operating Procedures .


Congrats to all the finalists ! And wish a good rest to all people involved in this season.


Congratulations to all finalists :clap: Looking forward to start collaborating with many of you at Optimism

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Congratulations :tada: to the finalist.
I will not give up on OP opportunity.


Congratulations to the finalists! I’m genuinely thrilled to witness the incredible projects they’ll be bringing to life in the coming months. The Grants Council’s outstanding work is truly admirable. Managing such a substantial volume of applications from exceptionally talented projects couldn’t have been easy, but you all excelled in every aspect – from meticulous reviews and hosting Office Hours Calls to enhancing the overall experience with Charmverse. Everything was well-organized, transparent, and effectively communicated. Your dedication has a profound impact on our Collective, and I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for your exceptional efforts. Thank you so much!


Big thank you to the Council and everybody else who participated to make this Season happen. It’s a resounding success, and I can’t wait to see so many of these exciting projects and ideas coming to fruition :tada: