|National Children’s Study Seeks Proposals for
New Study Centers
Study Begins Next Phase
The National Children’s Study has issued a request for proposals
to award contracts to up to 20 new study centers. These centers
will manage operations in up to a total of 30 communities across
the United States.
The National Children’s Study seeks to examine the effects of
environmental influences on human health and development by enrolling
a representative sample of more than 100,000 infants from across
the United States and following them from before birth until age
The request for proposals represents the next step in implementing
the study, which began in 2005 with the awarding of contracts to
seven initial, or Vanguard, centers in seven U.S. communities.
The study is led by a consortium of federal agencies: the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services — including the National
Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences at the NIH,
and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — and
the Environmental Protection Agency.
“The National Children’s Study will improve the health and well-being
of children and adults by identifying the root causes of many diseases
and conditions,” said Duane Alexander, M.D., Director of the NICHD.
Study researchers hope to gain insight into the genesis of important
health issues, including: birth defects and pregnancy-related problems,
injuries, asthma, obesity and diabetes, as well as behavior, learning,
and mental health. The study will examine environmental factors
such as: air, water, and house dust; what children eat; how they
are cared for; the safety of their neighborhoods; and how often
they see a doctor. Findings from the study will provide the basis
for new disease prevention strategies, health and safety guidelines,
and potential new treatments and cures for disease.
The study has identified a statistically representative group
of 105 communities across the United States where it will recruit
and enroll eligible participants. Contracts for the study centers
will be awarded to interested medical research organizations based
on the quality of their proposals and geographic proximity to the
These new study centers must successfully demonstrate such capabilities
as collection and management of biological and environmental specimens;
the capacity to develop community networks for identifying, recruiting,
and retaining eligible mothers and infants; and the ability to
secure the privacy of the data collected.
The National Children’s Study has received an appropriation of
$69 million from Congress for fiscal year 2007 to support the implementation
of the study.
The National Children’s Study was authorized by the Children’s
Health Act of 2000, a directive from Congress to undertake a national,
long-term study of children's health and development in relation
to environmental exposures. The NICHD was directed to lead the
effort in conjunction with other federal agencies.
Detailed information on the National Children’s Study is available
The request for proposals is available at http://www1.fbo.gov/spg/HHS/NIH/NICHD/RFP%2DNIH%2DNICHD%2DNCS%2D07%2D11/Attachments.html.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS),
a component of the National Institutes of Health, supports research
to understand the effects of the environment on human health. For
more information on environmental health topics, please visit our
website at http://www.niehs.nih.gov/.
The NICHD sponsors research on development, before and after birth;
maternal, child, and family health; reproductive biology and population
issues; and medical rehabilitation. For more information, visit
the website at http://www.nichd.nih.gov/.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's
Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and
Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting
and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research,
and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both
common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and
its programs, visit www.nih.gov.