The Global Grants for Gut Health is a competitive programme for investigator initiated research into the human gut microbiota, supported by Yakult and Nature Research. In 2021, the Global Grants for Gut Health will consider proposals for one-year research projects that advance understanding of the role of the early life microbiome in human health.

The fund is open to eligible researchers from across the world. The programme will make a maximum of three awards per funding cycle, each of up to US$100,000. Research projects should be one year in duration.


Applicants should be employed by a university, research institute or any other not-for-profit organisation. Applicants must hold a doctorate or medical degree (e.g., PhD, MD, PharmD) and have at least five years’ postdoctoral research experience.

The awards are global, so applicants can be of any nationality and projects can be hosted at eligible organisations in any country apart from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria or where otherwise prohibited or restricted by law or where otherwise prohibited or restricted by law as updated from time to time.

The programme is open to applicants from all scientific disciplines.

Assessment process & criteria

Proposals will first be screened on the basis of the originality and scientific quality of the project. A shortlist of proposals will then be assessed by an independent, expert panel on the basis of all four of the criteria below. The panel will be made up of internationally renowned researchers in human microbiota from across the world. Panel members will review proposals individually ahead of a meeting of the full panel to discuss the merits of shortlisted proposals in detail. The panel will then decide which proposals to fund. Nature Research and Yakult employees will have no influence over funding decisions.

Proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Quality and originality of the science
  • Potential scientific and social impact
  • Quality of the applicant/team and value for money
  • Focus on mechanisms of action

Key dates

Applications for the next round of funding open at 11:59 pm UTC on 16 June 2021 and close at 11:59 pm UTC on 15th September 2021.

The grants will be announced by April 2022.


Frequently asked question