Human microbiome research is an actively developing area of inquiry, with ramifications for our lifestyles, our interactions with microbes, and how we treat disease. Advances depend on carefully executed, controlled, and reproducible studies. Here, we provide a Primer for researchers from diverse disciplines interested in conducting microbiome research. We discuss factors to be considered in the design, execution, and data analysis of microbiome studies. These recommendations should help researchers to enter and contribute to this rapidly developing field.