Pediatric Functional Neuroimaging Research Network

Notice Number: NOT-HD-09-010


Key Dates
Release Date: March 11, 2009

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

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH) anticipates awarding a contract to an organization or organizations to develop standardized BOLD fMRI and ASL methodology and software for assessing brain function longitudinally with two developmental domains in typically developing children with an age range between infancy and 18-years-old.  

In a relatively short time, adult functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) research has grown rapidly and made important contributions in understanding cognition and neurobehavioral disorders. In contrast, the functional neuroimaging research involving children and adolescents is quite small and limited. In a recent review of PubMed articles published in the past five years, 210 functional neuroimaging articles involving children were identified. Of these articles, 92% involved adolescents 18 years or older and 98% involved sample sizes less than 15 per group. The control groups in these studies are often matched to the target group and therefore not a representative sample of typical development. These factors increase the likelihood of both type I and II errors and make it impossible to generalize findings. Larger-scale studies are needed in order to make more reliable interpretations of pediatric fMRI data.

The project shall address development of a standardized methodology and associated software for blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) fMRI and arterial spin labeling (ASL) acquisition in typically developing children from the ages of newborn to 18-years-old. The contractor shall obtain brain perfusion studies across the infant to 18-year-old age range.  In addition, the contractor shall develop a standardized method of investigating brain-behavior development using BOLD fMRI and ASL within two developmental domains, develop software to integrate BOLD and ASL data, collect brain activation data using these methods on a specified range of children within the larger range of infancy through 18-years-old, and analyze it longitudinally to look at developmental changes.  The contractor shall provide the scientific community with an initial database of these fMRI –ASL data, provide the users of the database with the protocols and software developed and provide protocol descriptions and any software for tasks developed for the project.
The primary objectives of this project are to develop standardized BOLD fMRI and ASL protocols for use with typically developing children, and recruit and assess children between the ages of infancy and 18-years-old for brain perfusion studies using ASL and passive fMRI.  In addition, typically developing children in an age range specified by the contractor will be assessed longitudinally through integrated fMRI and ASL using two developmental brain activation tasks.  No child will be sedated or given medication to reduce movement while being scanned.  To meet these goals, the contractor shall develop a standardized method of investigating brain perfusion rates and brain-behavior development, provide the scientific community with protocols, software, and an initial database of the representative fMRI-ASL data, provide the users of the database with the fMRI and ASL protocols and software and provide protocol descriptions and any software for the developmental tasks designed for the project.   

Additional details will appear in the Request for Proposals (RFP) to be issued in approximately 2 to 4 weeks after the date of this publication of the announcement.  The RFP will be posted on FedBizOpps (FBO) website, through the NICHD website 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. Information in the anticipated RFP supersedes any information in this presolicitation announcement. 

The anticipated contract type will be cost reimbursement for one year with four one year option periods.  This acquisition has been designated as full and open competition under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 541712. 

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: RFP-NIH-NICHD-CRMC-09-20.  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:

Megan Gnall
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-UPS service)

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