Inclusion Across the Lifespan Policy Information

Inclusion Across the Lifespan and other age-related inclusion policy information

This page provides references to the NIH policy on Inclusion Across the Lifespan in research involving human subjects, in addition to the current policy regarding children as participants in clinical research. Links to previous policies are also available.

The new NIH policy requires that applicants and grantees include individuals of all ages when conducting clinical research, unless there is a strong justification for their exclusion.
Inclusion Across the Lifespan must be addressed in all grant applications submitted for due dates January 25, 2019 or later, and all responses to solicitations issued on/after this date.

Research that is ongoing and grant applications/proposals submitted for due dates prior to January 25, 2019 continue to be subject to the Inclusion of Children in Clinical Research Policy until the submission of a competing renewal application.

Have a specific question about the policy? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions website in addition to the resources below.

To access the main Inclusion Across the Lifespan Policy Implementation website, click here.

Important News:

Starting June 9, 2018, the Human Subjects System (HSS) will replace the Inclusion Management System (IMS). The new system will be used by NIH staff, grant applicants, and recipients to manage human subjects information, including inclusion data. Please see guide notice NOT-OD-18-179 for details. For information about HSS, click here. Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer


Policies and Guide Notices



Original Posting Date
NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Individuals Across the Lifespan as Participants in Research Involving Human Subjects Guide Notice NOT-OD-18-116: This policy revises previous policy and guidelines regarding the inclusion of children in research.
Changes to the policy include (1) the applicability of the policy to individuals of all ages, (2) clarification of potentially acceptable reasons for excluding participants on the basis of age, and (3) a requirement to provide data on participant age at enrollment in progress reports.
Website December 19, 2017
Inclusion of Children in Clinical Research: Change in NIH Definition Guide Notice NOT-OD-16-010For the purposes of inclusion policy, the age of a child is defined as individuals under 18 years old.
Applicants/offerors for NIH funding are still expected to justify the age range of the proposed participants in their clinical research.
Website October 13, 2015
NIH Policy and Guidelines on The Inclusion of Children as Participants in Research Involving Human Subjects NIH Guide Notice. The goal of this policy is to increase the participation of children in research so that adequate data will be developed to support the treatment modalities for disorders and conditions that affect adults and may also affect children. Website March 6, 1998

Other Resources 



Original Posting Date
Inclusion Across the Lifespan Policy FAQs Frequently asked questions about the NIH Inclusion Across the Lifespan Policy Website November 2018
Inclusion Across the Lifespan Policy Infographic A snapshot of key basic information regarding the Inclusion Across the Lifespan Policy. PDF January 10, 2018
Inclusion of Children Case Studies (SCIENTIFIC)
Case Studies have been developed to assist Investigators in evaluating when children should be included in research studies supported by the NIH. Website

March 26, 1999
Decision Tree for Participation of Children in Research This is a tool for deciding if the inclusion of children is appropriate for a specific study. It is an attachment to the 03/06/98 NIH Guide, and only applies to applications submitted for due dates BEFORE January 25, 2019. Website

(Staff only)
March 6, 1998

Back to the main Inclusion Across the Lifespan website

Have additional questions? Contact the Inclusion policy team: