NACHHD Council Meets

June 2016

The National Advisory Child Health and Human Development (NACHHD) Council met on June 9. The council is charged with advising, consulting with, and making recommendations to the director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) on matters related to the research and research support activities and functions of the institute.

NICHD Acting Director Catherine Spong provided an update on several recent initiatives in which NICHD is involved, including the Kids First data resource currently under development as part of the Gabriella Miller Kids First Pediatric Research program and the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.

Spong also described the results of an evaluation of NIH’s data-sharing policy. Seventy percent of research grants awarded in 2009 used a data archive or a public website to share data from their studies. Overall, 78 percent of grants had compliant plans, with between 60 percent and 82 percent of grants sharing data after the publication of main findings.

Della Hann, director of the Division of Extramural Research, detailed trends in the number of applications and awards, as well as success rates, for NICHD and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a whole. In 2003, approximately 28 percent of grant applications received funding. In 2015, the success rate dropped to 11.5 percent. Hann also stated that the 397 new NICHD awards in 2015 matched the number of awards in 1998, before the doubling of the NIH budget. Hann addressed the recent Department of Labor rule to raise the threshold for overtime pay, noting that all postdocs would be funded at or above the new threshold.

In addition, NIH Medical Officer Nahida Chakhtoura updated the council on the state of research on the Zika virus. She described some recent studies that examined the link between Zika and microcephaly, and efforts by NIH through the Zika in Infants and Pregnancy Cohort Study to learn more about the virus.

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