(CLOSED) Moore Inventor Fellows

Sponsor Name: 
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Description of the Award: 

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation announces the sixth 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 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). For 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. We are not interested in supporting fundamental research projects or projects already at a stage where significant venture capital is available.

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, oceanography, biology, engineering, physics, chemistry, materials science, neuroscience, and public health.

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.). 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. As with all our grants, we seek to measure progress toward a defined goal during the three years of support.

Penn State is limited to two nominees each from University Park and Penn State Hershey overall and we welcome applications to the internal downselect process. Click here to view a listing of previous winners.

Ahead of submitting, please be sure to speak with your unit's Associate Dean of Research to insure the institution can comply with the following requirements if you are selected as one of Penn State's nominees:

  • $50,000 in annual direct support (This can be “in kind” as released time or access to special facilities for which there is normally a charge)
  • Fellow able to devote at least 25 percent of their time to their invention
Limit (Number of applicants permitted per institution): 
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Dec 14, 2020
OVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested applicants should upload the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: Last name_MooreInventorFellows_2021 no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

1. Invention Summary (no more than two pages):

  • 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

2. Summary CV (no more than two pages):

  • Educational and professional background
  • Key accomplishments, honors and demonstrated areas of expertise
  • Other background information relevant to stated invention

3. Budget narrative that outlines how grant funds will be used (one page):

4. Name and contact information for two individuals who will be asked to provide letters of reference if selected as a nominee: one from an individual within the nominating institution and one from an individual from another institution.The letters should evaluate the promise of the applicant and the invention and be no more than two pages in length.

To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
OVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Monday, October 12, 2020 - 4:00pm
Robert Hickey (E&MS)