Release Date:  December 6, 2001

NOTICE:  NOT-HD-02-002

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

The Republic of India and the United States of America share a strong 
commitment to improve the health and well being of women, children, and 
adolescents through the expansion of cooperative biomedical and behavioral 
research.  Although the health of women, children, and adolescents has 
improved significantly in both countries, it is recognized that important 
research questions remain to be answered in order to achieve additional 
reductions in morbidity and mortality.  Building on a 30-year history of 
maternal and child health research cooperation, representatives of India and 
the United States signed a joint statement on June 13, 2000 to enhance this 
cooperation through an expanded program of Maternal and Child Health and 
Human Development Research.

Program Structure

The Indo-U.S. Program on Maternal and Child Health and Development Research 
(MCHR) will be administered by a Secretariat consisting of staff from the 
U.S. and Indian nodal agencies, i.e., the U.S. National Institute of Child 
Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the National Institutes of Health 
(NIH) and the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).  Indian 
collaborating agencies involved in support of this program include the 
Department of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Health and Family 
Welfare, the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, 
and the National AIDS Control Organization.  U.S. collaborating agencies 
include other NIH Institutes and Centers, other Department of Health and 
Human Services agencies, the U.S. Agency for International Development 
(USAID), and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the U.S. Department 
of Agriculture (USDA).  Funding will be provided by the nodal agencies and 
collaborating agencies, based upon the availability of resources from public 
and private sources.  Funding decisions will be based on special project 
review procedures overseen by the Indian and U.S. nodal agencies. 

In addition to the Secretariat, the overall scientific goals, procedures, and 
review will be overseen by a Joint Working Group (JWG) consisting of 
independent U.S. and Indian investigators and staff from participating 
agencies with expertise covering the range of topics to be addressed by the 
MCHR program.

Scope of Program

The goal of the MCHR program is to "facilitate collaboration on maternal and 
children's health and human development research, in part, to contribute to 
global understanding of the causes of morbidity and mortality in women, 
particularly mothers, children and adolescents."  To address shared women and 
children's health and developmental research concerns, Indian and U.S. 
scientists will undertake a coordinated program that will involve 
participation in cooperative peer reviewed research projects, scientific 
workshops and conferences, research training, and technology transfer.  
Building on a history of productive biomedical and behavioral research 
collaboration, this cooperation will be based on mutual benefit, trust, and a 
shared commitment to the advancement of scientific knowledge and its 
application to improve health.

Specific areas to be addressed within this program include, but are not 
limited to:

o  Prevention and treatment of leading causes of maternal, neonatal and 
pediatric morbidity and mortality (including toxemia, hemorrhage, sepsis, 
birth asphyxia and trauma, accidents, diarrhea and other infectious diseases, 

o  Prevention and treatment of low birth weight and intrauterine growth 

o  Maternal and child nutrition and the role of micronutrients in healthy 
child bearing and pediatric and adolescent health and development;

o  Birth defects, genetic disorders, and developmental research;

o  Improved understanding of pathophysiology, prevention, and treatment of 
infectious diseases in women and children, including childhood asthma, acute 
respiratory tract infections, gastrointestinal infections, reproductive tract 
infections, malignancies, and HIV/AIDS;

o  Reproductive health including socio-behavioral aspects, birth practices, 
and evaluation of new contraceptives;

o  Traditional systems of medicine and practices that have an important 
impact on the health and wellbeing of women, children, and adolescents;

o  Emergency obstetric care for miscarriages and other problems of pregnancy, 
including severe preeclampsia, hemorrhage, and embolism; 

o  Relationship among maternal nutrition, fetal growth/development, and 
degenerative diseases in later life; and

o  Analysis, consensus building, and policy formulation on public health 
benefits of new approaches to improve maternal and child health.

Participation in Program

In its first year, the program will fund up to 10 supplemental grants to 
existing NIH-funded projects.  The maximum total amount per grant will be 
$50,000 per year in direct costs for up to three years.  Investigators 
interested in participation in the MCHR program should submit a letter of 
intent or "pre-proposal" (limit two to three pages) containing the study 
title, a brief description of the proposed research including rationale, 
brief background/preliminary data and aims (in relation to the priority areas 
of the overall program), the names of the U.S. and Indian collaborators and 
their institutional affiliations, and the anticipated project duration.  The 
pre-proposal should be sent to one of the contacts listed under INQUIRIES, 

Within 45 days of receipt of the pre-proposal, the respective U.S. or Indian 
Secretariat (see contact information below) will inform investigators whether 
the project description falls within the purview of the MCHR program.  If the 
pre-proposal is deemed by both the Indian and U.S. components of the program 
to be responsive to the MCHR priorities, investigators will be asked to 
submit a full proposal to both the Indian and U.S. Secretariats for peer 
review.  Investigators are strongly encouraged to submitted full proposals by 
December 31 of the calendar year of submission of the pre-proposal.  ICMR- 
and NICHD-constituted review panels will review all full proposals for 
scientific merit.  Final funding decisions will be made by the JWG of the 
Indo-U.S. MCHR program, usually during the first quarter of the calendar year 
for projects submitted by the previous December 31.  Proposals submitted 
outside this schedule will be reviewed as expeditiously as possible.


For more information and to submit a pre-proposal, contact:

U.S. Secretariat MCHR

Yvonne Maddox, Ph.D.
Deputy Director 
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
National Institutes of Health
Building 31 Room 2A-03
31 Center Drive, MSC 2425
Bethesda, MD  20892-2425
Telephone:  (301) 496-1848

Indian Secretariat MCHR

N.C. Saxena, M.D.
Deputy Director General
Chief, Division of Reproductive Health and Nutrition
Indian Council of Medical Research
Ansari Nagar
New Delhi 110029

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