The Global Grants for Gut Health aim to support scientific research into the human gut microbiota. The programme will fund research that develops new insights, data and methodologies with the ultimate goal of advancing the understanding of the impact of the gut microbiota on human health.

The Global Grants for Gut Health are supported through a partnership between Yakult Honsha Co. Ltd. and Nature Research, part of Springer Nature Ltd. Grant funding is provided by Yakult. Nature Research administers and promotes the programme.

Nature Research has convened a panel of internationally renowned researchers in human microbiota to review proposals and make funding decisions. Yakult and Nature Research employees will have no influence over funding decisions.

Applicants shall 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 Burma/Myanmar, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Russia/Ukraine or where otherwise prohibited or restricted by law as updated from time to time.

The programme is open to applicants from all scientific disciplines.

Proposals will be assessed against the following criteria, as explained fully in the Guidelines for applicants:

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

Proposals will be assessed by an independent, expert panel. The panel will comprise internationally renowned researchers in human gut 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.

Yakult and Nature Research employees will have no influence over funding decisions.

Applicants need to complete their application in the online proposalCENTRAL system. proposalCENTRAL is an electronic grant application portal used by over 100 government, non-profit, and private grant-making organisations in the fields of health, biomedical and scientific research.

You can register for a proposalCENTRAL account here. Details on how to apply can be found in the Guidelines for applicants. proposalCENTRAL has a number of tutorials and resources for users.

All applications must be submitted via proposalCENTRAL at the following URL: https://go.nature.com/2wOfezo

Applicants need to complete their application in the online proposalCENTRAL system. As part of their application, applicants will be required to provide a Research Proposal, CVs and a Budget. Applicants will need to include details of an authorised Signing Official at the lead institution. Full details are available in the Guidelines for applicants.

Yes. Applications can be from single investigators or from teams of investigators. It should be clear what each investigator is contributing to the research. The grant is led by the Applicant - who will act as the principle investigator - and held by the Applicant’s organisation.

Grants will be of up to $100,000 for the direct costs of research and will last up to 12 months. Applicants may apply for an additional 10% of the direct costs of research to cover organisational overheads.

Grants should be used to fund research activities. Grants cannot be used to cover other activities such as training, education, network-building and commercial development.

Funding will cover the direct costs of doing research. These are costs incurred directly in the performance of a research project (e.g., salaries, research costs, travel, publication, ethical approval and licences, consultancy and subcontracting).

Funding may also be used to cover indirect and overhead costs, as explained below.

Indirect or overhead costs are ongoing costs associated with running a university, research organisation, laboratory, etc. These costs would be incurred whether or not a particular project is taking place. Such costs may include administration, maintaining buildings, marketing and so on.

Applicants should factor in any indirect or overhead costs in relation to their application. While applicants may apply for up to 10% of the direct costs of research to cover indirect costs, they should note that ‘value for money’ is one of the assessment criteria to be taken into account by the panel.

Yes, applicants can apply for up to 10% of the direct costs to cover indirect and overhead costs as noted above.

Grant holders are responsible for obtaining all the necessary licences and approvals. These do not need to be in place at the time of application but they will need to be obtained before the project starts.

The Global Grants for Gut Health is a new programme so no such data is available.

Three awards will be made in the first funding cycle. The number of awards in subsequent cycles may change subject to demand and the quality of applications.

Applications for the first round of funding are invited between 11.59 PM EST on 31 August 2018 and 11.59 PM EST on 30 November 2018.

It is anticipated that administrative, review and decision-making processes will take a maximum of four months from the closing date of the application window. Applicants will be notified if there are any unforeseen delays to the process.

The results of the research and any associated intellectual assets rest with the university or research organisation that generated them. Organisations should manage the outputs of research funded under the scheme to maximise potential benefits.

Grant recipients are free to publish their results in the journals they deem most appropriate. There is no expectation or requirement that research will be published in a journal owned or managed by Springer Nature. Where papers are submitted to Springer Nature journals, they will be subjected to the same editorial and review processes and standards as any other submission.

Grant holders are required to submit mid-term and final reports. Full details are available in the Guidelines for applicants.

Grant holders are expected to participate in promotional activities relating to the grant that may be organised by Yakult and Nature Research.

Grant holders should acknowledge support received through the programme in publications and other forms of communication including press releases.

Grant holders will be interviewed by Nature Research as part of a series of Q&A articles about funded projects.

Yakult and Nature Research will periodically hold symposia, usually aligned with a relevant conference, to bring grant holders together and to showcase research funded under the programme. Grant holders should make every effort to attend these meetings in order to present their findings.

Due to the anticipated volume of applications, it will not be possible to provide detailed feedback on unsuccessful applications.

No. All submissions should be original.

Please contact the grant administrator by email at gutgrants@springernature.com.