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.

The Global Grants for Gut Health will consider proposals for one-year research projects – whether laboratory investigations or clinical studies – that advance understanding of the impact of the gut microbiota on human health.

Applications might relate to:

  • The structure, function and diversity of the human microbiome
  • The gut-associated immune system and the microbiota’s immunomodulatory capacity
  • The role of the gut microbiota in inflammatory and metabolic diseases
  • The role of the microbiota in the gut‒brain axis
  • Modulation of the gut microbiota, for example through diet, prebiotics, probiotics, transplantation of faecal microbiota or selected species and communities, and modulators of the microbiota composition.

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 will be one year in duration.


Applicants shall 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 be assessed by an independent, expert panel. 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 physical 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:

  1. Originality
  2. Potential impact
  3. Scientific quality
  4. Quality of the applicant/team
  5. Value for money

Key dates

Applications for the first round of funding are now closed.

Awards will be announced in March 2019.


Frequently asked questions