Moore Inventor Fellows

Funding Agency:
Moore Foundation

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is pleased to announce the ninth competition for the Moore Inventor Fellows program. 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 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.   


  • Duke Internal Deadline: Oct. 15, 2023
  • Nominations must be received by November 14, 2023
  • Full application materials are due by  December 13, 2023


Agency Website

Areas of Interest

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.  

Eligibility Requirements

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.  



Amount Description

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.  

Funding Type



Junior Faculty


Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

Internal Nomination

Owing to the sponsor's restriction on the number of applications that may be submitted from Duke, anyone wishing to pursue nomination should submit the following materials as one PDF via the upload feature on the ORS website.

1) A letter of support from dean/chair - 1 to 1.5 pages Please include a statement of the institution’s plan to assure that the nominee will have at least 25 percent of their time to devote to their invention and $50,000 in annual direct support of the inventor’s work.

2) 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.

3) 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..  
  • Stage of invention.  
  • Current funding.  
  • Feasibility.  
  • 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.”).
  • Potential impact.  
  • Approach for measuring progress during the grant term. 

* Figures and charts can be included within the total page length limits.

4) (DRAFT) One -page budget narrative that outlines how grant funds will be used

The above materials should be compiled (in the order listed above) into one PDF file.
Go to My Research Proposal to upload your file (Code: ILN):

Instructions for creating an account (if needed) and submitting your materials:

Internal Deadline

October 15, 2023

External Deadline

November 14, 2023