2021 Moore Inventor Fellows Program

The Syracuse University Office of Research and Office of Foundation Relations are pleased to announce the launch of the 2021 Moore Inventor Fellows Program Limited Submission competition. Syracuse University may nominate up to two candidates for this competition. 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.).

Click here to view the full competition information.

Foundation Program Announcement: http://www.moore.org/inventors
Number of Possible Internal Nominees: 2
Internal Submission Due Date: October 19, 2020, 5:00 PM
Selection Notifications: early November 2020
Sponsor Deadline: December 14, 2020

A Limited Submission Opportunity (LSO) is a funding opportunity in which the sponsor sets an institutional limit for the number of proposals it will accept. In order to participate in an LSO, Syracuse University must organize to submit our most competitive proposal(s). This requires an internal competition and institutional peer review.

Syracuse University may nominate up to two candidates for this competition. 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.).

Synopsis of the Moore Inventors Program

Inspired by Gordon Moore’s passion for discovery, the Moore Inventor Fellows competition seeks 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 focuses on supporting scientist-inventors at a critical prototyping stage to capture opportunities that otherwise might be missed. They seek to provide freedom and support to promising inventors with the most compelling ideas to pursue creative and disruptive innovations.

Gordon Moore’s contribution to the development of microelectronics helped produce the exponential growth of the digital revolution. In the spirit of Moore’s passion for science and penchant for inventing, the foundation seeks to support people who create new tools, technologies, processes, or approaches with a high potential to accelerate progress in the foundation’s three main areas of interest: scientific research, environmental conservation and patient care.

What the Foundation Seeks to Fund

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). For 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. 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, oceanography, biology, engineering, physics, chemistry, materials science, neuroscience, and public health.

See Guidelines and FAQs for more sponsor information


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.).

Funding and award period

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 institution to cover costs associated with administering the grant award, resulting in a total three-year award of $675,000. Host institutions are required to contribute $50,000 in annual 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 undergraduates, graduate assistants or postdoctoral scholars and purchase services, equipment, or supplies.

Application Materials

For this LSO, applicants must submit a 2-page statement of invention, a 2-page summary CV, a brief budget, and the names of two references who may provide letters of support. The budget must include the sources of the required $50,000 annual match from the institution. At this stage, letters of support are not needed, only the names of those who will write the letters if you are selected for submission to the foundation. Full details of application requirements may be found on the Syracuse University Application Portal.

Evaluation Criteria

All applications will be evaluated with the following criteria:


  1. Demonstrated creative potential
  2. Strong technical ability for the proposed line of work


  1. Potential impact of the proposed invention.
  2. The plausibility of the invention to achieve the stated impact.
  3. The potential for measurable progress within a 3-year period.
  4. Importance of the invention in areas of interest to the Moore Foundation (science, environmental conservation or patient care).
  5. Invention at an early stage that requires this funding for rapid progress.
  6. Potential scale of impact.
  7. Ability of dedicated funding and time to propel this innovation to the next stage of development. Commercialization is not a requirement.
  8. Strength of the institution’s commitment to the applicant’s invention activities

The PIs of projects selected to move forward with full proposals will be notified by email in early November. Per the sponsor restrictions, no more than two submissions will be allowed.

PI Responsibilities

If a proposal is selected and the PI or team decides to forgo an application, they must notify the Office of Research within five days of the selection notice. This allows another proposal to be selected and move forward. If the PI fails to submit a proposal and has not notified the Office of Research, the PI runs the risk of being disqualified from future LSO competitions.

PI Eligibility

For any sponsored research projects, the applicant must be eligible to serve as Principal Investigator for the project. Please see our PI Eligibility requirements to ensure you are eligible.

Questions: Email LimitedSubmissions@syr.edu

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