Moore Inventor Fellows

Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO). Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity. Note the cost-share requirements in the solicitation.

Program Summary 

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation announces the ninth 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.

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. 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.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST October 16, 2023

Sponsor Nomination Deadline:  November 14, 2023

Sponsor Full Application Deadline: December 13, 2023

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Statement of Invention (up to 2 pages, including citations, single-spaced, 12 point font, 1-inch margins): Please include the following elements: description of invention (without jargon) and the problem it seeks to address, the invention’s potential impact, importance to science/environmental conversation/patient care, stage of invention, current funding, feasibility, risk and approach for measuring progress during the fellowship term.
  • PI Summary CV (up to 2 pages)
  • Matching Support Certification (up to 1 page): A statement confirming the PI has secured verbal commitment from a dean/chair for matching support if the project is funded.
  • Budget Overview (up to 1 page): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required. Make sure to include the sources of the required $50,000 annual match from the institution.

To access the online application, visit:


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 2014). Please see the Moore Inventor Fellows FAQ for more information regarding candidate eligibility and exceptions.

Limited Submission Guidelines

CU Boulder is invited to submit two nominations for consideration.

Award Information

Award Duration: 3 years

Award Amount: $675,000 total ($200,000 per year for the fellow) ($25,000 per year for the host institution to cover award administration costs).

  • Each fellow must devote at least 25% of their own time to their invention.
  • Direct salary support is acceptable provided it includes a proportionate release of time from teaching or other duties. They may also hire research personnel and purchase services, equipment, or supplies.

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.

Review Criteria

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.