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The Moore Inventor Fellows Competition

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation announces its 2020 competition for Moore Inventor Fellows. The foundation seeks to identify outstanding early stage inventors and innovators who harness science and technology to enhance the conduct of scientific research, strengthen environmental conservation, or improve the experience and outcomes of patient care.

Each fellow will receive funding for three years at a level of $200,000 per year from the foundation. In addition, the foundation will provide the host institution with $25,000 each year to cover costs associated with administering the grant award, resulting in a total three-year award amount of $675,000. Each host institution will be required to contribute $50,000 in annual direct support of the inventor’s work. This can be “in kind” as released time or access to special facilities for which there is normally a charge. We expect each fellow will be personally engaged in pursuing their invention and we require each fellow to devote at least 25 percent of their own time to their invention.

Who and What They Seek to Fund

Candidates must be faculty, research scientists, postdocs or other full-time staff at eligible institutions. Candidates must be no more than 10 years past receiving the terminal advanced degree in their field (M.S., Ph.D. or M.D.) with exceptions possible for family leave or extended clinical training.

The scope of this call is intentionally wide: proposed projects do not need to fall within the Moore Foundation’s current funding priorities, but should be broadly within the program areas of foundation interest (science, environmental conservation and patient care). The exception is for nominees proposing ideas and inventions that target patient care. Within this realm, we seek overlap with our current emphasis on improving the experience and outcomes of patients, including solutions in the areas of diagnostic excellence, medication safety in the community and community-based serious illness care. The Moore Foundation aims to support inventions at an early stage that could lead to proof-of-concept work on an invention 2 or advance an existing prototype that tackles an important problem. They seek innovations with the promise of making a long-lasting impact by addressing underlying problems in their field, but a clear path toward commercialization is not a requirement. They are not interested in supporting projects that are already at a stage where significant venture capital is available. They seek to measure progress toward a defined goal during the three years of support. The foundation’s policy is that intellectual property that results from a grant must be managed and disseminated in a manner that leads to the greatest impact. Each award will include IP terms to reflect the needs of that project.

  1. Proposal title
  2. Applicant’s name, academic rank, department affiliation, and contact information
  3. Statement of invention (no more than two pages, including citations; single-spaced, 12-point font with one-inch margins). The first paragraph should describe clearly and without jargon the invention, the problem it seeks to address and its potential impact. The statement of invention should also include the following information:
    • Description of invention
    • Importance to science, environmental conservation or patient care and experience I
    • Stage of invention
    • Current funding
    • Feasibility
    • Approach for measuring progress during the grant term
  4. Summary CV (no more than two pages):
    • Educational and professional background, including date of last terminal degree
    • Key accomplishments, honors and demonstrated areas of expert knowledge
    • Other background information relevant to this invention
  5. Names of two people who can provide letters of reference that evaluate the promise of the applicant and the invention, one from an individual within the nominating institution and one from an individual from another institution.

Moore Foundation Submission Deadline – December 13, 2019

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