Release Date:  January 30, 2002

NOTICE:  NOT-HD-02-005

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

The NICHD supports basic, clinical, and applied research and research 
training in infant mortality; prevention of birth defects, including genetic 
diseases; learning disabilities; the development and evaluation of 
contraceptives and infertility treatments; mental retardation and 
developmental disabilities; developmental and reproductive biology; 
demographic and behavioral sciences; and the enhancement or restoration of 
function in individuals with a physical disability.

Throughout FY 2000 and 2001, the NICHD convened workshops in key scientific 
areas to develop strategic plans to guide the Institute's research 
activities.  In developing these plans, experts within each discipline 
discussed scientific and public needs and offered specific steps to the 
Institute to help direct and advance each scientific area.  After drafting 
each of the strategic plans, the public was invited to comment, ensuring that 
the public's view was considered and included.

The NICHD's strategic plans describe a research agenda for the next three to 
five years.  They target the following areas:
o  From Cells to Selves -- provides the overall framework and goals to guide 
the Institute's long-term planning process.

o  Health Disparities: Bridging the Gap -- provides a research agenda to help 
reduce or eliminate health disparities among racial and ethnic 
minority populations.

o  Genetics and Fetal Antecedents of Disease Susceptibility -- provides a 
research agenda to ensure that new technologies are used to understand the 
biological, environmental, and other factors contributing to 
disease susceptibility.  

o  Reproductive Health for the 21st Century -- provides a research agenda to 
increase our knowledge about reproductive processes to overcome infertility 
and ensure successful pregnancies and healthy birth outcomes.  

o  Biobehavioral Development -- provides a research agenda to increase our 
understanding of the processes involved in forming cognitive, learning, 
emotional, social, and physical behaviors and in the rehabilitation of 
persons with physical and developmental disabilities. 

o  Developmental Biology:  Understanding Normal and Abnormal Development -- 
provides a research agenda to study early development in utero and to prevent 
birth defects.

o  Targeting Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS):  A Strategic Plan -- 
provides a research agenda to increase our knowledge of SIDS, its origins, 
etiology, pathogenesis, diagnostics, and prognostics, as well as preventive 
strategies and interventions.

These strategic plans can be viewed at

To advance these scientific areas in a direction that will encourage 
collaborative approaches and innovative findings, the Institute encourages 
investigators to submit grant applications that address the specific areas 
discussed in these plans.


Potential applicants are encouraged to contact NICHD staff prior to 
developing their applications.  Information on Institute extramural programs 
and staff contacts is available on the NICHD website at

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