Nestle Foundation Pilot Grant (PG)

Nestle Foundation

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Grant amount: Up to US $20,000

Next deadline: May 10, 2020 (Full proposal)

Later deadlines: Jan 10, 2021 (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Postdoctoral Researcher Faculty Unaffiliated Researcher

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Research, Capital Project

Location of project: Afghanistan; Benin; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Central African Republic Show all

Location of residency: Afghanistan; Benin; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Central African Republic Show all

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About this funder:



Note: Letters of Intent must be submitted prior to a full application. Those invited to apply must submit an application by the deadlines above. Letters of Intent can be submitted at any time. 


The Nestlé Foundation initiates and supports research in human nutrition with public health relevance in low-income and lower middle-income countries according to the World Bank classification (see The results of the research projects should ideally provide a basis for implementation and action which will lead to sustainable effects in the studied populations as generally applicable to the population at large. They should also enable institution strengthening and capacity building in a sustainable manner in the host country and further cooperation and collaboration between Institutions in developed and developing countries .

The Foundation expects research proposals to be primarily the initiative of local researchers from the developing countries. However the Foundation will be inclined to consider favorably those applications jointly made by scientists from developed countries with those from developing countries provided it is clear that the initiative will result in capacity building and human resource development in the latter and the bulk of the budget is spent in the developing country.

Research Topics

At present the Foundation's work is primarily concerned with human nutrition research issues dealing with:

  • maternal and child nutrition, including breastfeeding and complementary feeding,
  • macro- and micronutrient deficiencies and imbalances,
  • interactions between infection and nutrition, and
  • nutrition education and health promotion.

The precise priorities and goals of the Foundation are modified from time to time to meet emerging public health and nutritional needs in the developing world. Studies in other areas of human nutrition research might also be considered, as long as they are dealing with problems of malnutrition in eligible countries (see above). Other areas of research may be eventually considered for support if the applicant can offer specific and convincing evidence and justification for the choice of their research topic.

Funded projects are usually of one- to three-year duration. The budget of the projects must be appropriate and reasonable and has to be justified in detail.

One of the Foundation's main aims is the transfer of scientific and technological knowledge to target countries. In cases where Foundation-sponsored research projects are realized in collaboration with scientists at universities and research institutes in high-income countries, at least 75% of the budget has to be earmarked for use within the low-income country

Research Grants

The major aim of these research grant awards is to provide financial assistance for innovative original research projects of nutritional and health relevance to developing countries with a good potential for long term capacity building component as well as a high impact for long term implementation. The grants provide financial support for the conduct of the study (material, biochemical analysis, reasonable equipment etc) and if needed salaries of the research staff (the latter in developing countries only).

Proposals that are viewed favorably by the Foundation are characterized by:

  •  Good agreement with the aims and objectives of the Foundation
  • Demonstration of a competence and expertise to address the area of research as well in the research design and methodology and rationale for the study
  • Bear a high component of capacity building and human resource development in the host institutions in developing countries.
  • The results of the research will contribute to long term improvement of nutrition and health in a community or region as well as globally

Pilot Grants

The Pilot Grant (PG) Program of the Foundation provides support for pilot research that has a high potential to lead to a subsequent full research project grant. Usually the Foundation does not support nutritional survey research. Often to be able to identify areas of problems for potential intervention one has to collect baseline data. A pilot study (pre-study or baseline study) will create the needed data for a larger research project. The PG program may assist this. The pilot-study and PG usually represent the starting point for a later full research grant application(i.e. a SRG or LRG) to the Foundation.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • The principal investigator / applicant should come from a low income country according to the definition of the World Bank
  • The study or project has to be sited in a low income country.
    • At least 75% of the suggested budget has to be used in this target country.
    • Exceptions may be made upon special request and justification.
  • The application has to come from a University Institute or other institutions with a clear affiliation with a University.
    • This means that the applicants have to work at a University Institution.
  • The study has to have a clear capacity building component,
  • The research project has to have a high public health relevance and potential for a sustainable implementation of the results
  • Ideally the application comes from a low income country.
    • Depending on the research question this is sometimes not possible and a collaboration with a University from a developed country might be needed.
    • This is basically possible but again the major part of the study has to be done in the low income country
  • Multiple funding sources for a project are possible but should be disclosed in detail
  • The study duration should be limited to two to maximally 3 years till completion.


  • Projects with a high potential for effective and sustainable improvement of the nutritional status as well as a high capacity building component will be funded preferentially. 


  • The Foundation does not normally fund:
    • projects with low public health relevance
    • projects with doubtful sustainability
    • projects lacking transfer of scientific, technical and educational knowledge, i.e. lacking a capacity-building component
    • large budget projects i.e. – projects that exceed US$100,000 per year or US$ 300,000 over the total duration of a 3year project
    • nutrition surveys or surveillance studies
    • research on food policy, food production and food technology except when linked to an intervention with high potential for sustainable improvement of the nutritional status
    • in vitro and/or animal experiments.
  • Pilot Grants are non- renewable.
    • Hence, it is recommended that eligible investigators apply for other categories of awards before the completion of their projects (but with available results from earlier support) for continuing support from a full research grant to avoid any interruption of their research activities.
  • A previous award does not necessarily imply that a subsequent submission will be automatically accepted.
    • All applications will be reviewed as new applications.