Danone North America will award two graduate students US$25,000 each to conduct research that would offer insight into the role of the gut microbiome – including its effects on the brain and immune system.
Recipients of the grant will explore how the gut microbiome, yogurt and probiotics help sustain human health and wellness though growth, development and longevity.
This is the 11th year in a row that Danone North America has offered the fellowship. Previous winners have investigated: the effects of protein fermentations on the human microbiota; the role of probiotic yogurt consumption during breastfeeding; the effects of gut bacteria and food intake on brain development; the impact of dairy intake on the gut microbiome during infancy, the role of probiotic function in the gut microbiome as a mediator of cardiovascular disease, and more.
Applications for the current program are being accepted through February 14, 2023. To qualify, applicants must be incoming or current graduates who have demonstrated an interest n exploring the gut microbiome, probiotics and yogurt. They must be at least 18 years of age and hold a proof of US residence and able to use the grant during the 2023 academic year at an accredited US institution. The application itself includes answers to essay questions, recommendations from two faculty members and proof of good academic standing.
The 2023 fellowship grants form part of Danone’s US$4m commitment to enhance nutrition and food security research, in a collaboration with the White House Conference on Hunger and Nutrition.
Miguel Freitas, PhD, vice-president of scientific affairs at Danone North America, commented: "Danone North America understands the significance research plays in identifying the role and importance of the human gut microbiome. Knowing the food we eat can have an immediate and dramatic impact on the makeup of our microbiome is of specific interest to us.
"As a top food company in the US with a vast portfolio of essential dairy and plant-based foods, it is our duty to support advancements in research that will lead to greater knowledge and health outcomes for the people we serve. We're proud to have awarded these grants over the past decade, as graduate studies are vital investments in the future of human health research. With each grant, we make meaningful progress in fulfilling our purpose to nourish lives and sustain a healthier world through food."