The Moore Inventor Fellows

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is pleased to announce the eighth competition for Moore Inventor Fellows. The foundation seeks to identify outstanding 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.

The Moore Inventor Fellows fellowship focuses on supporting scientist-inventors at a critical prototyping stage to capture opportunities that otherwise might be missed. We seek to provide freedom and support to promising inventors with the most compelling ideas to pursue creative and disruptive innovations.

Gordon Moore’s contribution to the development of microelectronics helped produce the exponential growth of the digital revolution. In the spirit of Dr. Moore’s passion for science and penchant for inventing, the foundation seeks to support people who create new tools, technologies, processes, or approaches with a high potential to accelerate progress in the foundation’s three main areas of interest: scientific research, environmental conservation, and
patient care.

The foundation will provide nearly $34 million through 2026 to support 50 Moore Inventor Fellows. The fellowship focuses on early-career staff at select research universities, medical schools and selected non-academic environmental research and patient care institutions. Each eligible institution may nominate two people.

Each fellow will receive $200,000 per year from the foundation for three years. In addition, the foundation will provide the host institution with $25,000 each year to cover costs associated with administering the grant, resulting in a total three-year award 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.

Fellows may use the grant funds to support their own salary to create this opportunity. They may also hire research personnel and purchase services, equipment, or supplies.

Candidates must be faculty, research scientists, postdocs or other full-time staff who can receive funding through their 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. received on or after 2013). Please see the Moore Inventor Fellows FAQ for more information regarding candidate eligibility and exceptions.

The scope of this call is intentionally wide: proposed projects do not need to fall within our current funding priorities but should be broadly within the program areas of foundation interest (science, environmental conservation and patient care). Patient care inventions should resonate with our focus on improving the experience and outcomes of patients with solutions that improve clinical diagnosis.

We aim to support inventions at an early stage that could lead to proof-of-concept of an invention or advance an existing prototype that tackles an important problem. We seek innovations that promise to make a long-lasting and meaningful impact by addressing underlying problems in their field, but a clear path toward commercialization is not a requirement. For this opportunity we are not interested in supporting fundamental research projects or projects already at a stage where significant venture capital is available. As with all our grants, we 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.

We recognize real invention can take surprising turns, so we seek creative individuals who have big ideas, deep knowledge, and the courage to take smart risks. We recognize inventors and innovators come from a diversity of backgrounds, disciplines and experiences and seek creative individuals across a broad array of academic programs and research institutions. Examples of such programs include but are not limited to environmental science and conservation, remote sensing, artificial intelligence, big data, climatology, emerging infectious diseases, biology,
oceanography, engineering, physics, chemistry, materials science, neuroscience, and public health.

Each eligible institution can submit two nominations for consideration.

WSU internal nomination must be received by 11:59 p.m. PT Thursday, October 20, 2022.

Moore nominations must be received by 5:00 p.m. PT Monday, November 14, 2022.
Full application materials are due by 5:00 p.m. PT Tuesday, December 13, 2022.
Institutions may submit up to two nominations with the elements described below.

For more detailed information please read the FAQs. If you seek more clarity, please reach out to Tami Lafrance at

  • WSU internal nomination: (Due Thursday, October 20, 2022)
    • Must complete the nomination form below.
  • Basic nominee information: (Due Monday, November 14, 2022)
    • Name of nominee, brief description of invention, keywords describing invention.
    • Nominee institution, department and contact information.
    • The nominating institution needs to commit to ensuring the nominee has at least 25 percent of their time to devote to their invention and $50,000 per year in direct support of the inventor’s work. The form has a box to check that indicates the institution will do this.
  • Candidate nomination packet to include the following materials: (Due Tuesday, December 13, 2022)
    • 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:
      1. Description of invention.
      2. Importance to science, environmental conservation, or patient care (please select one choice under the basic nominee section).
      3. Stage of invention.
      4. Current funding.
      5. Feasibility.
      6. Risk (please describe any technical risks that might lower chances of success and what you will do mitigate these risks. For example, “If A doesn’t work, we’ll do B.”).
      7. Potential impact.
      8. Approach for measuring progress during the grant term.
    • Curriculum Vitae (no more than two pages):
      • Educational and professional background.
      • Key accomplishments, honors and demonstrated areas of expert knowledge.
      • Other background information relevant to this invention.
    • One-page budget narrative that outlines how grant funds will be used.
    • Two 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. Letters should be no more than two pages.

After WSU’s internal competition, the Moore Foundation’s selection process has two stages. In the first, each submission will be reviewed by foundation staff with advice from external reviewers. Applications will be selected in line with the goals of the Moore Inventor Fellows program and random selection may be used in tie break situations. In the second stage, ten finalists will be invited to virtually present to a panel of advisors on the importance, plausibility, status, and possible impact of their proposed line of work (more information about presentation criteria will be included closer to Finalist Day). After these presentations, the advisory panel and foundation staff will make recommendations to the foundation president for the 2023 fellowships. Please see below for a detailed timeline of the selection process.

Details of the proposed invention will be held confidential, and members of the external reviewer cohort and advisory committee will sign nondisclosure agreements before reviewing any applicant material. The foundation will collaborate with selected fellows and their host institutions on agreeable language to be shared in announcements of the award winners.

Applicants will be considered solely on their merits and awards will be made regardless of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, national origin, religion, or disability.

In the first round, the following questions are used to evaluate each application:

  • Rate the candidate’s capabilities as an inventor.
  • Rate the potential of the proposed invention to make a difference in the foundation’s areas of interest: scientific discovery, environmental conservation, and/or patient care.
  • Rate the potential for measurable progress within a 3-year period.

In the second round, the following questions are used to evaluate each application:

  • Rate the candidate’s capabilities as an inventor.
  • Rate the potential impact of the proposed project.
  • Rate the plausibility of the invention to achieve its stated impact.
  • Rate the potential for measurable progress within a 3-year period.
  • Rate the overall application, considering both the inventor and invention.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022Online application system opens.
Tuesday, October 19, 2022Virtual Q&A with the Moore Inventor Fellows team.
Thursday, October 20, 2022 at 11:59pmWSU internal deadline.
Monday, November 14, 2022Institutions to provide basic nominee information.
Tuesday, December 13, 2022All application materials due.
Week of April 12, 2023Finalists selected.
Monday, May 8, 2023Finalist virtual presentations.
Week of May 8, 2023Decision made; institutions notified.
Fall 2023 2023 Moore Inventor Fellows announced.