Limited Submission: Moore Inventor Fellows

Summary

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation announces the fourth 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 program focuses on supporting scientist-inventors at a critical stage of research 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 work.

Please read the full program announcement linked above before preparing your internal application.

Program Overview

Gordon Moore’s contribution to the development of microelectronics helped produce the exponential growth of the digital revolution. In the spirit of 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 plans to allocate nearly $34 million through 2026 to support 50 Moore Inventor Fellows. In 2019, the competition will focus on early-career staff at major research universities, additional institutions from among the top 50 National Institutes of Health-funded medical schools and universities, and selected non-academic environmental research and patient care institutions. Each eligible institution may nominate two people.

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. Fellows may use the grant funds to support their own salary to create this opportunity. They may also hire undergraduates, graduate assistants or postdoctoral scholars and purchase services, equipment, or supplies.

Who and What We 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.).

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). 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.

We aim 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. We 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. We are not interested in supporting projects that are 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 that 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 that 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 departments. Examples of such programs include, but are not limited to environmental science and conservation, oceanography, biology, engineering, physics, chemistry, materials science, neuroscience, public health and gerontology.

Award Amount

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.

Selection Criteria:

All applications will be evaluated with the following criteria:

Inventor

  • Demonstrated creative potential
  • Strong technical ability for the proposed line of work

Invention

  • Importance of the invention in areas of interest to the Moore Foundation – science, environmental conservation or patient care
  • Invention at an early stage that requires this funding for rapid progress
  • Plausibility of this invention to achieve the stated impact
  • Ability of dedicated funding and time to propel this innovation to the next stage of development; commercialization is not a requirement
  • Strength of the institution’s commitment to the applicant’s invention activities

Limitation Details

An Institution may submit TWO nominations for consideration.

If you are interested in submitting for this program, you must first submit an internal application to limsub@uga.edu according to the required instructions below.

Internal Applications must include the following:

  • A cover page listing
    • The name of this funding opportunity and title of your proposal
    • Nominee name, UGA position, home department, email, and UGA contact information
    • Collaborator names, positions, and institutions (if any)
    • A one-sentence description of the invention
  • 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
    • Stage of invention
    • Current funding
    • Feasibility
    • Approach for measuring progress during the grant term
  • One paragraph describing why this proposal should be UGA’s submission (i.e., why it will be the most competitive for this program)
  • Summary CV (no more than two pages)

Internal Selection

Limited Submission announcements often generate multiple competing proposals.  UGA reviewers judge proposals as they would in any peer review process, so PIs are urged to put their best foot forward.  Along with typical criteria, reviewers will evaluate internal proposals based on their fit with the sponsor’s articulated goals and criteria.

Internal Submission Instructions

The above internal application materials should be submitted via email as a single .PDF file to limsub@uga.edu by 11:59PM on the internal deadline listed above.

Questions?

Please submit questions regarding the internal competition to limsub@uga.edu.

For questions directly related to this program, please contact inventors@moore.org.


View our calendar for all Current and Closed Limited Submissions.
Subscribe to our listerv to receive weekly internal competition announcements.
What is a Limited Submission?