The National Children's Study NCS Environmental Sample Analytical Laboratories

Notice Number: NOT-HD-08-006

Key Dates
Release Date: February 28, 2008

Issued by
The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (

Pre-Solicitation announcement (RFP-NIH-NICHD-NCS-08-09): The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH) anticipates awarding one or more contract(s) to an organization or organizations to provide analytical laboratory services for analysis of environmental samples for the National Children's Study (NCS).  One or more fixed unit price type contract(s) with a four ( 4 ) year base and one (1)  one-year option period of performance are anticipated. Further detail will be provided in the Request for Proposals (RFP) to be issued 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.  The Study's goal is to better understand how environmental exposures and genetic factors interact to affect children's health and development.  It will explore the effects of a broad range of environmental factors, including biological, chemical, physical, and psychosocial environmental influences.  Gene expression and gene-environment interaction will be important aspects of the Study. The broad range of outcomes includes but is not limited to: obesity, diabetes and physical development; injuries; asthma; pregnancy-related outcomes; and mental health issues.  The Study will include a sample of approximately 100,000 children from throughout the U.S., beginning with early pregnancy or even prior to conception  and following the child for a wide range of health and developmental outcomes and environmental exposures until at least 21 years of age. Biological specimens and environmental samples will be collected throughout the Study.   

This procurement pertains to environmental samples. They are considered precious national resources such that their handling, security, analysis and storage must be subject to the most stringent requirements to preserve their identity, quality, and integrity. To the extent that these samples are stable, many will be stored in a repository for an indefinite period of time. However, some environmental samples will require prompt analysis because of either instability or research findings which suggest need for analysis, such as for a case control study. 

This procurement pertains to the environmental samples that require immediate analysis (generally within 14 to 30 days from sample collection).  These samples will be collected from households and perhaps other locations periodically throughout the NCS.  Environmental samples to be analyzed as part of this acquisition include particulate matter and gaseous air pollutants collected onto filters and passive samplers, dust wipes, and tap water. The classes of environmental analytes being considered for analysis in this acquisition include, but are not limited to: carbonyls, haloacetic acids, air oxidants, particulate matter, pyrethroids, and volatile organic compounds.  More detail about the design and methods for the NCS can be found in the Research Plan on the NCS web site

The environmental laboratory(ies) shall perform the following tasks:  (1) receive, secure, analyze, and report on all NCS samples sent to them; (2) maintain samples and records in appropriate secure storage facilities that will retain their identity, integrity and quality (until results have been reported and accepted); (3) package and ship some residual environmental samples and processed samples for repository storage and subsequent additional analysis; (4) develop and maintain a quality assurance program for all laboratory operations including personnel management, and sample receipt, analysis, shipment and storage according to all Federal, State, and local regulations; (5) maintain an automated electronic tracking system to receive, inventory, process, and track samples, a system that is compatible with the NCS Information Management System; and (6) provide electronic data transfer in accord with EPA Staged Electronic Data Deliverable (SEDD), Draft Revision 5.1 format.

Offerors are required to perform all analyses at the laboratory facility(ies) described  in their proposal. It is preferable that the primary contractor perform as many analyses as possible, in as few locations as possible, for logistic and cost factors. However, given the large quantity of analyses, particularly in the later years of the contract, teaming or use of subcontractors is a possibility.  Redundancy within the organization will be viewed as a benefit to ensure capability to analyze the samples according to schedule.

To serve as an environmental analytical laboratory for the Study, interested offerors must have:

  1. Experience managing large environmental sample analysis projects. 
  2. Experience in receiving, processing, analyzing, and storing, environmental samples such as air sampling filters and passive samplers, water, and household dust wipes.
  3. Laboratory accreditation by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP), the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Laboratory Accreditation Program, or the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program for each proposed laboratory facility (specific physical location/address) for at least two years prior to the contract start date.
  4. Laboratory facilities must be located within the 48 contiguous United States.

The request for proposals (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 45 to 60 days after the issuance of the RFP.  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 Elizabeth Osinski, Contracting Officer, 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.

This is not an RFP and this announcement does not commit the Government to award a contract.  The reference number to be used for this announcement is: NIH-NICHD-NCS-08-09.  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:

Elizabeth Osinski
Contracting Officer
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)
Phone: 301-435-6947
Fax: 301-402-3676

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