National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Children’s Study (NCS) Centers

Notice Number: NOT-HD-08-005

Key Dates
Release Date: January 25, 2008

Issued by
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (

Pre-Solicitation announcement: The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH) anticipates awarding a contract to an organization to serve as a Repository for biospecimens and environmental samples for the National Children’s Study (NCS) for the requirement described below in this announcement. The contract type will be 1 (one) cost reimbursement, completion, with a 5 (five) year base and 2 (two) 1 (one) year option periods of performance.  More details will appear in the Request for Proposals (RFP) to be issued in approximately 2 to 4 weeks after the date of the publication of this announcement.  This announcement is intended to inform interested offerors of a planned RFP, of important background information, and of some key requirements essential for responding to the RFP.

Background information on the Study is available on the NCS web site  The Study is a large, long-term longitudinal study of environmental influences on child health and development.  This Study will explore a broad range of environmental factors that could influence the health and development of children.  For this Study, environment is broadly defined to include biological, chemical, physical, social and behavioral influences on children.  The broad range of outcomes includes obesity, diabetes and physical development; injuries; asthma; pregnancy-related outcomes; and mental health issues.  The Study’s goal is to better understand the role of how exposure and genetic factors affect or are associated with children’s health, disease and development.   The Study will include a sample of approximately 100,000 children born in the U.S. beginning with early pregnancy or before and following the child for a wide range of health and developmental outcomes and environmental exposures until at least 21 years of age.  More detail about the design and methods for the NCS can be found in the Research Plan on the NCS web site  

The Repository will be responsible for receipt, secure storage,  preparation and distribution of all biological specimens (including but not limited to blood, urine, breast milk, meconium, saliva, hair, nails, buccal cells, placenta, umbilical cord, vaginal swabs and cord blood) that will be collected from participants periodically throughout the Study, and all environmental samples (including but not limited to air sample filters, water, bulk household dust (vacuum and floor wipes), mattress dust, floor mats, food, and soil) that will be collected from households and perhaps other locations periodically throughout the NCS.  Additional samples to be stored in the Repository will consist of prepared ampuled specimens and environmental samples, such as digestates and extracts, residual biological specimens and environmental samples. These specimens and samples are considered precious national resources such that their handling, security, and storage must be subject to the most stringent requirements to preserve their identity, quality and integrity.

The contractor shall perform the following tasks:  (1) receive, secure, catalog, and store all NCS specimens, samples and records submitted by NCS study centers or analytical laboratories; (2) maintain specimens, samples, and records in appropriate secure storage facilities that will retain their identity, integrity and quality, even in the event of a natural or man-made disaster; (3) prepare, aliquot, and package biological specimens and environmental samples for subsequent analysis; (4) provide shipping materials, shipping services, and technical assistance to ship specimens and samples to laboratories for analysis; (5) develop and maintain a quality assurance program for all Repository operations including personnel management and specimen and sample receipt, shipment, and storage according to all Federal, State, and local regulations, and (6) develop and maintain an automated electronic tracking system to receive, inventory, process, and track specimens and samples that is compatible with the NCS Information Management System.

To serve as a Repository for the Study, interested offerors must have:

  1. Extensive experience managing large biological and environmental sample repositories. 
  2. Experience in receiving, processing, storing, and archiving biological specimens (such as blood, urine, hair, nails, buccal cells, breast milk, meconium, cord blood, umbilical cords, and tissues such as placenta) under biosafety level 2 (BSL 2) conditions.
  3. Experience in receiving, processing, storing, and archiving environmental samples such as soil samples, air sampling filters, water, bulk household dust, prepared samples (ampulated extracts) and special samples (such as floor mats, food).

This is not an RFP and this announcement does not commit the Government to award a contract. The RFP is anticipated to be posted on FedBizOpps (FBO) website:, through the NICHD website:, and the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts website: in approximately 2 to 4 weeks after the date of the publication of this announcement. 

The due date for submission of proposals in response to the RFP is anticipated to be on or about April 1, 2008.   Information in the anticipated RFP supersedes any information in this pre-solicitation announcement.  This acquisition has been designated as full and open competition under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 541712. 

Any questions concerning this announcement must be submitted in writing to Fred Ettehadieh, Contract Specialist, at or addressed to, NICHD Contracts Management Branch, Office of Acquisitions, NIDDK, NIH, 6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 7A-07, MSC 7510, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-7510 (if hand-delivered or sending by delivery service—6100 Executive Boulevard, Suite 7A-07, Rockville, Maryland 20852).  No collect calls will be accepted.  All correspondence must cite the reference number as provided.


The reference number to be used for this announcement is:  NIH-NICHD-NCS-08-07.  All correspondence must cite the reference number as provided. No collect calls will be accepted. Any questions concerning this announcement must be submitted in writing to:

Fred Ettehadieh
Contract Specialist
NIH, NICHD Contracts Management Branch
Office of Acquisitions
6100 Executive Boulevard
Room 7A-07, MSC 7510
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-7510
Rockville, MD  20852 (for express/courier service; non-USPS service)


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