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PSOM Limited Application - Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation Inventor Fellows Program

SUBJECT:    PSOM Limited Application - 2023 Moore Foundation Inventor Fellows Program
TO:               School of Medicine Faculty

FROM:        Katherine L. Nathanson, MD and Scott D. Halpern, MD, PhD 

      Co-Chairs, PSOM Limited Applications Selection Committee

DATE:          September 29, 2022


The University has been invited to nominate two candidates for the 2023 Moore Foundation Inventor Fellows Program. The Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR) is managing the final candidate review and selection process; each school within the University may submit the names of up to two candidates (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is also an invited institution and faculty based at the hospital should apply through CHOP and may not apply through both CHOP and PSOM).


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.


The Moore Inventor Fellows program focuses on supporting scientist-inventors at a critical prototyping stage to capture opportunities that otherwise might be missed. It seeks to provide freedom and support to promising inventors with the most compelling ideas to pursue creative and disruptive innovations.


Program Description:

Important information from the guidelines:

     “The scope of this call is intentionally wide: proposed projects do not need to fall within the Moore Foundation’s 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 work on an invention 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, remote sensing, artificial intelligence, big data, climatology, emerging infectious diseases, oceanography, biology, engineering, physics, chemistry, materials science, neuroscience, and public health.”


From FAQ: “Proposed research should not include clinical trials and awarded funds should not be used to cover clinical trials.”



  • Candidates must be faculty, research scientists, postdocs, or other full-time staff at eligible institutions.
  • Candidates must be no more than ten years past receiving the terminal advanced degree in their field (M.S., Ph.D. or M.D. received on or after 2012).   See FAQ for exceptions for clinical training for physicians.
  • Important note: Host institutions will be required to make a contribution of $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. Each fellow will be personally engaged in pursuing their invention and is required to devote at least 25 percent of his/her own time to their invention. Fellows may use the grant funds to support their own salary to create this opportunity. They may also hire research personnel and purchase services, equipment, or supplies (see requirements below for Chair letter documentation).


Award Amount:

  • $200,000 per year for three years. 
  • Foundation will provide the host institution with $25,000 each year to cover costs associated with administering the grant award, resulting in a total 3-year award of $675,000. 


PSOM Review Process: 

Proposals for the internal competition will be evaluated using the Moore criteria:


Note: The Moore Foundation has a two-step review process.  In the first, each submission will be reviewed by Foundation staff with advice from external reviewers. In the second, 10 finalists will be invited to make a virtual video presentation to a panel of advisors on the importance, plausibility, status and possible impact of their proposed line of work.


Evaluation Criteria

In the first round, the following questions are used to evaluate each application:

• Rate the candidate’s capabilities as an inventor.

• Rate the potential of the proposed invention to make a difference in the foundation’s areas of interest: scientific

   discovery, environmental conservation, and/or patient care.

• Rate the potential for measurable progress within a 3-year period.


In the second round, the following questions are used to evaluate each application:

• Rate the candidate’s capabilities as an inventor.

• Rate the potential impact of the proposed project.

• Rate the plausibility of the invention to achieve its stated impact.

• Rate the potential for measurable progress within a 3-year period.

• Rate the overall application, taking into account both the inventor and invention


PSOM Submission Requirements:

Each nomination must include the following materials:

  • Cover page with nominee’s name, degrees, date of terminal degree, department, school, email address, phone number, proposal title, brief description of invention, and keywords describing the invention.
  • Letter of support from department chair/division chief. Letter must confirm that the inventor has at least 25 percent of their time to devote to their invention and $50,000 in annual direct support of the inventor’s work.
  • 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:
  • Description of invention (main idea)
  • Importance to science, environmental conservation or patient care (please select one choice under the basic nominee section)
  • Stage of invention
  • Current funding: existing or planned funding
  • Feasibility
  • Risk (please describe any technical risks that might lower chances of success and what you will do mitigate these risks. For example, “If A doesn't work, we'll do B.”).
  • Potential impact of the invention
  • Approach for measuring progress during the grant term
  • Summary CV (no more than two pages):

                       I. Educational and professional background

                       II. Key accomplishments, honors and demonstrated areas of expert knowledge

                       III. Other background information relevant to this invention


Applications must be submitted in a single pdf file in the above order.  Subject line of email as well as pdf document should be Moore_Inventors_PI surname_PI first name, e.g.  Moore_Inventors_Smith_Jane. 

Please submit all materials to Dorothy Leung at  by 9am on Friday, October 21st.

Please send any questions to