2020 Moore Inventor Fellows

Inspired by Gordon Moore's passion for discovery, the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation launched this competition to identify outstanding early-stage inventors who harness science and technology solutions to enhance scientific research, strengthen environmental conservation, or improve the experience and outcomes of patient care.

The Moore Inventor Fellows Program will recognize inventors at select research universities. The foundation anticipates investing $33.75 million to support a total of 50 Moore Fellows, with the first five awards having been made in 2016 (previously awarded fellows to date: 2016, 2017, 2018).  

The Moore Foundation has invited up to two nominations from Case Western Reserve University. Selected fellows will receive funding for three years at a level of $200,000 per year from the Moore Foundation.

In addition to funds for the fellow, the foundation will provide $25,000 each year to the university to cover costs associated with administering the grant award, resulting in a total three-year award of $675,000. Host institutions will be required to make a contribution of $50,000 in annual direct support of the inventor's work, and nominees must commit to devoting 25% of their effort toward their inventions.

Number of Applications
Amount of Funding

$675,000, payable over three years ($200K/yr direct; $25K/yr for indirect)


Candidates must be within ten years of receiving the terminal degree in their field (e.g., Ph.D. or M.D.) They can be tenure-line faculty, teaching faculty, research scientists, postdocs or other full-time affiliates of the university.

In the Foundation's words:
“We seek ideas grounded in science that promise to transform activity in an area of interest to the foundation: natural science, environmental conservation, and patient experience and care. We seek a combination of the demonstrated promise of the individual and a compelling idea in which marked progress toward a defined goal can be measured during the three years of support. We aim to support ideas at an early stage that could lead to proof-of-concept or advance an existing prototype toward application.
We recognize that real invention can take surprising turns, so we seek creative individuals who have big ideas and the deep knowledge and courage to take smart risks. We are not interested in supporting ideas that are already at a stage at which significant venture funding is available. A clear path toward commercialization is not a requirement; potential impact on scientific research, conservation, or patient care is essential.
These awards aim to provide the time and creative space for exceptional individuals to pursue their invention. We seek individuals within institutions that demonstrate the organization's commitment by sharing in the support of the fellow's work and providing adequate time for it.”

Evaluation Criteria:


  • Demonstrated creative and technical potential
  • The strong relevant technical ability for the proposed line of work


  • The potential impact of the invention in areas of interest to the Moore Foundation - science, environmental conservation or patient care
  • Idea is in an early stage that requires this funding for rapid progress
  • The idea has the potential for measurable progress within the three-year grant period
  • The plausibility of this invention to achieve the stated impact
  • The ability of dedicated funding to propel this innovation to the next stage of development
  • Strength of the university's stated commitment to applicant's invention activities  

Submission Process

Step 1:

In ONE PDF, please provide:

  1. A one-page, 12-point font, one-inch margin cover letter, including PI name, department/division, school/college, project title and brief summary of the compelling idea and potential impact on scientific research, conservation, or patient care. This letter must also confirm:
    • That the department chair has been contacted about the required institutional commitment of $50,000/year in annual direct support
    • That at least 25% of your time can be devoted to your invention
  2. An NIH or NSF style biosketch

Please send this PDF as an e-mail attachment to limitedsubmission@case.edu by 5 pm September 17, 2019. 

Step 2:

Final nominees will be notified of their selection by September 27, 2019.

Step 3:

The final proposal must be received by the Office of Research Administration by December 6, 2019, at 5:00 pm EST.

Step 4:

The final proposal must be received by the sponsor by December 13, 2019, at 5:00 pm EST.


Abstract or LOI to ORA Chosen Proposal Announced ORA Final Proposal Due Date Sponsor Submission Deadline Days Until Due
09/17/2019 09/27/2019 12/06/2019 12/13/2019 CLOSED