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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Moore Inventor Fellowships 2021

To:Chairs and Administrators, Departments in the Biological and Physical Sciences; Associate Deans for Research; College/School Research Administrators
From:Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Education
Date:September 18, 2020
Subject:Moore Inventor Fellowships


Deadline for Internal Review:October 19, 2020

Project Description

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 Moore Inventor Fellows program 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 Foundation plans to allocate nearly $34 million through 2026 to support 50 Moore Inventor Fellows.  The competition focuses on early-career staff at select research universities, medical schools and selected non-academic environmental research and patient care institutions.

Amount per Award: $675,000
Duration of Award: 3 Years
Number of Awards: 5 Awards


Candidates must be faculty, research scientists, postdocs, or other full-time staff. Candidates must be within ten years of receiving the advanced terminal 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). For patient care, inventions should resonate with our focus on improving the experience and outcomes of patients with solutions that improve clinical diagnosis.

The Foundation aims to support inventions at an early stage that could lead to proof-of-concept work on an invention or advance an existing prototype that tackles an important problem. 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. The Foundation is not interested in supporting projects that are already at a stage where significant venture capital is available. As with all Moore grants, the Foundation seeks 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.

If you are proposing an invention assigned to WARF, please contact WARF prior to proceeding with your application.

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. Each fellow is required to devote at least 25 percent of their own time to their invention.

UW-Madison is allowed to submit two nominations.


Internal Competition Application Instructions

Applications for Internal Review

To submit your application, attach a single PDF to an email to:

Please include the following information:

A. Statement of invention (no more than two pages, single-spaced, 12-point font and 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 in the area of science, environmental conservation, or patient care and experience
  • Stage of invention
  • Current funding
  • Feasibility
  • Approach for measuring progress during the grant term.


B. Summary CV to include (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


C. One-page budget narrative that outlines how grant funds will be used and how the cost sharing commitment will be met.

D. Statement of plan to assure the applicant has at least 25 percent of their time to devote to their invention and $50,000 in annual direct support of the inventor’s work.

Sponsor Deadlines

Nominations are due to Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation by November 16, 2020. Applications are due to Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation by December 14, 2020.