University of Southern California


Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation – The Moore Inventor Fellows

Slots:                                                  2                           

Internal Deadline:                          Contact the Office of Research if interested.

LOI:                                                     February 11, 2019 by 5:00 p.m. PT.

External Deadline:                          March 4, 2018 5:00 p.m. PT

Award Information:                       Type:  Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 5

Anticipated Amount: $200,000 per year for 3 years in addition to $25,000 per year to the host institution to cover administrative costs (Three-year total award $675,000)

Cost Sharing:                                   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 undergraduate, graduate assistants or postdoctoral scholars and purchase services, equipment, or supplies.

Submission Process:                     PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission through the Office of Research Application Portal:

Materials to submit:


Link to Award:                        

Who May Serve as PI:                   Candidates must be faculty or research scientists at eligible 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.).


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). The exception is for nominees proposing ideas and inventions that target patient care. Within this realm, we seek overlap with our current emphasis on improving the experience and outcomes of patients, including solutions in the areas of diagnostic excellence, medication safety in the community and community-based serious illness care.

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.

Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for updates and other announcements.