Winners have now been announced.



Yakult and Nature Porfolio extend their commitment to human gut microbiota research in 2022/2023 through The Global Grants for Gut Health, Research Group Prize. 

The Research Group Prize encourages applications from academic research groups that have advanced our understanding of the human gut microbiome and its impact on human health over a sustained period of time.

Science is not an individual pursuit. Research groups bring scientists together. The Research Group Prize will recognize teams with outstanding track records for microbiome research, but also for talent development, international collaboration and positive research culture.

We will publish details of shortlisted research groups. One overall winner will receive a grant of USD50k. 

Key dates

07 November 2022

Application window opens

13th January, 2023 11:59 pm UTC     

Application window closes

February, 2023

Shortlist announced

March, 2023

Winner announced


We seek applications from research groups within university faculties or research institutions that comprise at least five staff (in any position), that have been established for at least five years, and whose work has been and continues to be focused on gut microbiome research and its impact on human health. 

The team need not have been led by the same research group leader for its whole lifespan. 

The application need not be submitted by the research group leader, though the research group leader will need to sign-off the completed application. 

Assessment process & criteria

Applications will be scored according to the following criteria:

A track record of outstanding microbiome research of high calibre and notable innovation that has delivered academic and human health impact.

  • Funding record.

  • Highly impactful publications.

  • Examples of new knowledge translated into clinical practice - collaborations with industry, patents, license fees, spin off companies etc.

Demonstrable commitment to the development and promotion of new generations of researchers working either in academia or outside

  • Notable achievements by team members.

  • Number of former team members now leading their own research groups or holding other leadership positions.

  • Testimonials from current or former PhDs and postdocs.

International collaboration, particularly with institutions in LMICs, global research capacity building, and contribution to open science practices.

  • Record of fruitful collaboration, particularly supported by testimonial(s) from researchers from LMICs.

  • Recorded instances of open science practice.

A research culture that promotes interdisciplinarity, embraces diversity, equity and inclusion principles and champions good research practice, for example data management and sharing, reproducibility, research ethics and integrity, and patient or public engagement.

  • Evidence of interdisciplinary research through collaboration, joint initiatives, etc. 

  • Evidence of team members with diverse disciplinary and personal backgrounds.

  • Case studies of good research practice. 

Applications will be assessed by an expert judging panel managed by Nature Portfolio. To avoid real or perceived conflicts of interest, the Research Group Prize will not be evaluated by the panel that judges The Global Grants for Gut Health.  

Panel members will review applications to create a shortlist of applicants. The full panel will then meet to discuss the merits of each group and select one overall winner. The judging panel will make up 100% of the votes. The chair of the judging panel will make the final decision in the event of a tie. 

Nature Awards encourages submissions from countries in the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Country Classification System. Note that a number of weighting points will be added to such submissions, based on the country of origin’s position in the classification. Fundamental excellence and achievement remain the overriding consideration of the judges but the weighting points will be used to ensure that these are viewed in the context of the entrant’s access to opportunity and resources.

Application process

Applications must be submitted through the online application form. Entries must be complete (that is, all required fields are complete) and submitted by 11:59 pm UTC 13th January, 2023 to be eligible.

All applicants will need to confirm they have read and agree to the terms and conditions.


The winning research group will:

  • receive a grant of USD50k to be invested in furthering the group’s research (e.g., supporting a PhD, capital expenditure, new or top-up funding for research projects, etc.).

  • be featured in a Nature Careers podcast episode that examines lab management and positive research culture.

Terms and conditions for applicants

Download terms and conditions

Applicants must read and agree to the terms and conditions of the scheme.

By applying, you agree to the terms and conditions of the award programme. 


Please contact us at if you require any further information.