2020 Moore Inventor Fellows


The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has invited UMass Amherst to submit up to two nominees for the  2020 Moore Inventor Fellows program. The competition seeks to identify outstanding early-stage 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 program focuses on supporting scientist-inventors at a critical stage of research to capture opportunities that otherwise might be missed.



  • Candidates must be faculty, research scientists, postdocs, or other full-time staff.
  • Candidates must be no more than 10 years past receiving the terminal advanced degree in their field (M.S., Ph.D., or M.D.).
  • Fellows must be engaged in the pursuit of their invention at least 25% of the time for the three-year duration of the award.
  • 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.
  • Projects should fit broadly within the program areas of science, environmental conservation, or patient care.
  • Patient care projects should overlap with the foundation's 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.
  • Each nomination must be for a single individual who is the project lead. However, grant funds may be used toward collaboration in service of the project.

Award Background:

  • A three-year $675,000 award ($200,000/year for the Fellow; $25,000/year for the host institution)
  • Fellows may use the grant funds to support their own salary to create this opportunity. They may also hire undergraduates, graduate assistants or postdoctoral scholars and purchase services, equipment, or supplies.
  • Two nominees may be submitted per institution.
  • Approximately 5 Fellows will be selected.
  • To ascertain your competitiveness, we strongly suggest reviewing the 2016, 2017, and 2018 fellows.


Internal Application Process

The internal selection process will be informed by the  grant program's guidelines and submission requirements and led by a committee composed of the deans of internal applicants' respective schools and colleges or their designees and, if necessary, the Provost, Vice Chancellor for Research Engagement, or faculty with relevant expertise.

If you are interested in applying to this program please email a pre-proposal as a single PDF by October 11, 2019 to foundation.relations@umass.edu. Please include:

1.  Statement of invention (no more than two pages, including citations; single-spaced, 12-point font with one-inch margins). The statement should be written clearly and without jargon and include: 

  • Problem your invention seeks to address and its potential impact
  • Description of invention 
  • Importance to science, environmental conservation, or patient care and experience 
  • Stage of invention 
  • Current funding 
  • Feasibility 
  • Approach for measuring progress during the grant term

2.  A short-form CV for the PI and each senior staff person


Additional Information:

The Moore Inventor Fellows program 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. The foundation seeks 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. It is not interested in supporting projects that are already at a stage where significant venture capital is available. 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. The foundation recognizes that real invention can take surprising turns and seeks creative individuals who have big ideas, deep knowledge, and the courage to take smart risks. It recognizes that inventors and innovators come from a diversity of backgrounds, disciplines and experiences, and seeks creative individuals across a broad array of academic programs and research departments, including not limited to: environmental science and conservation, oceanography, biology, engineering, physics, chemistry, materials science, neuroscience, public health and gerontology.

For additional information, visit the program's website and guidelines. If you have technical questions about the grant program or your eligibility, please contact Marco Monoc or Liz Smith in Foundation Relations.