Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for HEALthy Brain and Child Development Study
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:
July 31, 2020
Estimated Publication Date of Funding Opportunity Announcement:
November 01, 2020
First Estimated Application Due Date:
March 01, 2021
Earliest Estimated Award Date:
September 01, 2021
Earliest Estimated Start Date:
October 01, 2021
Related Announcements


Issued by

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)


The purpose of this Notice is to alert the community that NIH plans to publish a set of Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) as part of the Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM (HEAL) Initiative to support research project sites, a Data Coordinating Center, and a Consortium Administrative Core for the HEALthy Brain and Child Development (HBCD) Study.

This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to form meaningful collaborations and develop responsive applications.

The primary objective of the HBCD Project is to conduct a large scale multi-site longitudinal study that can prospectively examine human brain, cognitive, behavioral, social, and emotional development beginning at birth and extending through middle childhood. The study will comprise a normative sample that represents the diversity of pregnant women in the US population, a cohort of women who have used opioids and other substances during pregnancy will also be recruited, and a comparison group from similar backgrounds/environments as the cohort of women who have used substances. The study is intended to create a well-characterized cohort of children in order to examine the developmental impact of pre/postnatal drug exposure and multiple other genetic and environmental factors that affect risk or resilience in various health and mental health domains. Anonymized data from this cohort will be made available to the broader research community during the course of the study to maximize their utility.

The FOAs are expected to be published in Fall 2020 with an expected application due date in WINTER 2021.

These FOAs will utilize the cooperative agreement (U) activity codes. Details of the planned FOAs are provided below.

Research Initiative Details

This Notice encourages investigators with expertise and insights in neurodevelopment to consider applying for these new FOAs.

This project is expected to be a collaboration between researchers having wide ranging expertise. This includes expertise in areas such as: neuroimaging, neurodevelopment, cognitive and behavioral science, environmental science, gene/environment interactions, substance use, mental health, family dynamics, bioethics, data management and biostatistics; as well as recruitment and retention of vulnerable populations in long term studies.

The goal of the HBCD Project is to collect data in multiple domains to provide knowledge about the multiplicity of factors that affect a child’s health, brain, and behavioral development, an essential first step toward designing policies and interventions that promote well-being and resilience in all children. Below are some of the overarching research objectives, which are inherently interdependent and mutually informative:

  • What does normative brain development look like from birth through childhood, and how do various biological and environmental factors affect these development trajectories?
  • How do genetic factors interact with environmental factors to influence neurodevelopmental and cognitive development?
  • How does early life exposure to substances (alone or in combination) and/or adverse or protective environmental circumstances affect the developmental trajectories of children?
  • Are there key developmental windows during which the impact of adverse environmental exposures (e.g., opioids, stress, COVID-19) influence later neurodevelopmental outcomes?
  • Are there key developmental windows during which ameliorating influences (e.g, SUD treatment; social/economic support) are protective against the potential neurodevelopmental insults of early adverse exposures?

It is expected that investigators, upon funding, will work together with federal staff at NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices to achieve project goals.

Funding Information
Estimated Total Funding


Expected Number of Awards


Estimated Award Ceiling
Primary CFDA Numbers


Anticipated Eligible Organizations
Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Other than Federally Recognized)
U.S. Territory or Possession
Regional Organization
Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entity (Foreign Organization)
Indian/Native American Tribally Designated Organization (Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities
Independent school districts
County governments
For-Profit Organization (Other than Small Business)
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Federally Recognized)
Private Institution of Higher Education
Small Business
Nonprofit with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institution of Higher Education)
State Government

Applications are not being solicited at this time. 


Please direct all inquiries to:

Michelle Freund
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: 301-827-4128

Minki Chatterji
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: 301-827-5435

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices