Research Management Group (RMG)

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Moore Inventor Fellows

Limited $675K funding opportunity—only TWO applicants are permitted therefore a university-wide internal selection process is required. Eligibility: for all Stanford faculty with PI eligibility (UTL, MCL, and NTL-Research appts.)   Applicants must be within 10 years of receiving their terminal degree in their field (Ph.D. or M.D.) (anytime in 2008 is OK per the sponsor's FAQs.] Please see the Stanford eligibility clarification section below because it differs from the sponsor's guidelines.

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. Additional clarification from the sponsor's FAQs has been added to the "amount of funding", eligibility and "internal submission guidelines".


# of applicants: 2 (see internal submission guidelines below)

Internal deadline for each school*:  Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, 5 p.m.
Each school will submit their top 4 proposals for each program (Keck, Moore) to Jeanne Heschele by Tues., Jan. 22nd
Dean of Research Office Limited Program Review Committee meeting*: Jan. 31, 2018
*the review committee meeting is set up for 1.5 hours
Congratulatory and/or regret emails will be distributed to all candidates:  Feb. 1, 2019
For the two nominees selected:
Nomination/application packets to sent to the sponsor: Feb. 11, 2019, 5 p.m. PT
Institutional representative (RPM/RMG or CGO/OSR) deadline: Feb. 25, 2019
Full proposal deadline: March 4, 2019

See the contacts for your respective schools under the internal submission guidelines below.


Please read the Stanford eligibility clarification section below because it differs from the sponsor's guidelines.
Download a PDF file of the 2019 RFP >>
Download a PDF file of the 2019 FAQs >>
2016 recipients >>
2017 recipients (including one from Stanford) >>
2018 recipients >>

We aim 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. 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.

Amount of funding:

The total grant award is $675,000 for a three-year period. The fellow receives a total of $600,000 ($200,000 each year, for three years). The home institution will receive a total of $75,000 ($25,000* each year for three years to offset costs associated with grant management).
*Clarification from the sponsor: The entirety of this $25,000 per year can go towards indirect costs.

NOTE:  Host institutions are required to make a contribution of $50,000 in annual direct support of the inventor’s work. See the internal submission guidelines below for the detailed information needed for your Department Chair's nomination letter regarding this annual commitment.



Evaluation criteria:
All applications will be evaluated with the following criteria:



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

All information on the details of the proposed invention will be held confidential and members of the advisory committee will sign nondisclosure agreements before reviewing any applicant material. The foundation will work with fellows on agreeable language that could be shared publicly about the competition and in announcements of the award winners.

UPDATE: The Date Sharing and Intellectual Property Policy
PDF File of the sponsor's data sharing and intellectual property policy:
The foundation’s policy states all intellectual property 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 each research project.  The foundation may also publish anonymized and aggregated demographic information regarding the people nominated by the institutions, as well aggregated information on the university’s nomination process.
Further IP clarification from the sponsor: "The Foundation’s policy is that IP should be managed and disseminated in a way that leads to the greatest impact. Since IP can be important in making use of an invention, we will address it on a case-by-case basis once the projects have been selected."



By Monday, January 14, 2018, 5 p.m., please submit ONE PDF file [File name: Last name_Moore_2019.pdf] containing the following (in the order listed below) to your respective school contact person:

Institutional representative: you do not have to submit your internal proposals to your institutional representative (RPM/RMG or OSR) for approval. You can submit them directly to your respective school's contact person.

The following is based on the sponsor's nomination guidelines.

1)  Title Page

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation--The Moore Inventor Fellows
Project Title:
PI name, title (position), department, address, phone, email address

2)  Nomination letter from the department chair (addressed to Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Moore Inventor Fellows review committee) which speaks to promise of the applicant and the invention. This letter must address the above evaluation criteria.
This letter must also provide a detailed** commitment by the department* that it will meet the requirement in the guidelines “to make a contribution of $50,000 in annual direct support of the inventor’s work”. This letter should be no more than two pages.

*Stanford clarification: your Department Chair's nomination letter must provide a detailed** commitment by the department that it will meet the requirement “to make a contribution of $50,000 in annual direct support of the inventor’s work”). Per the sponsor: "A clear statement of the proposed institutional support is part of the nomination."

3)  Statement of invention (2 pages)
(based on the sponsor's guidelines)
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:


4) Summary CV to include (no more than two pages) (per the sponsor's requirement)

Selection Process

Each school will select 4 proposals to be forwarded to the Dean of Research Office limited program review committee (c/o Jeanne Heschele) by Jan. 22nd. That committee will select the two applicants to represent Stanford. The two applicants selected will arrange for a second letter of recommendation letter from an individual from another institution.

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