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 2020, the programme will consider proposals for research projects that advance understanding of the impact of the small intestine microbiome on human health.  In all cases the focus should be on uncovering and understanding the mechanisms through which the microbiota exert an influence on 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 institution 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 any eligible organisation in the world.

Guidelines for applicants

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 EST on 1st August 2020 and close at 11:59 pm EST on 30th September 2020.

The grants will be announced by April 2021.


Frequently asked question