NICHD Releases 2020 Strategic Plan

September 2019

On September 18, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) issued its 2020 strategic plan. The plan outlines five research themes and several cross-cutting topics guiding the priorities at NICHD for the next five years.

The five themes in the strategic plan include:

  • Understanding the molecular, cellular, and structural basis of development
  • Promoting gynecologic, andrologic, and reproductive health
  • Setting the foundation for healthy pregnancies and lifelong wellness
  • Improving child and adolescent health and the transition to adulthood
  • Advancing safe and effective therapeutics and devices for pregnant and lactating women, children, and people with disabilities

Several cross-cutting topics cover the five themes: health disparities, disease, infectious disease, nutrition, and global health. The themes also incorporate social, behavioral, and environmental determinants that impact development, pregnancy, and overall health. The fourth theme, improving child and adolescent health and the transition to adulthood, highlights areas that connect with education research: sleep, adverse childhood events, exposure to technology, and digital media.

The final plan is a result of a collaborative process with NICHD staff, external experts, and the broader scientific and medical communities through a public comment period. The Consortium of Social Science Associations, of which AERA is a governing member, provided comments to the draft strategic plan in February.