NCS Closure Information: Q & A


Letters from the Director of NICHD to Participants

The Director of NICHD sent this letter to all Vanguard Study participants, thanking them for their participation and letting them know the study is ending.

NCS Working Group Findings

Dr. Collins assembled a working group in 2014 in light of concerns raised about the Study by the National Academy of Sciences. On December 12, 2014, the working group released its findings.

The National Children’s Study was envisioned as a long term, observational study examining the effects of many environmental and biological factors on children’s health and development.

On December 12, 2014, the National Children’s Study closed, following the advice of an expert review group.  The NCS will not collect any new information from participants. The NIH would like to thank participants for their time and all that they have given to the Study.

The NIH will make the data already collected available to other researchers. This way the NCS will be a valuable resource for years to come. The NIH will continue to protect participant privacy.    

Below you will find answers to some frequently asked questions about the Study’s closing. NIH will continue to update this website with new information and additional questions and answers. A new website will be made available in the future and will have more information for former participants and researchers. If you have other questions, please contact vanguard@ncs.nih.gov or call 1-877-865-2619.

Question: Why was the Study closed?

Answer: The Director of the National Institutes of Health asked a group of researchers to review plans for the National Children’s Study. This group of researchers said the Study’s goals could not be met with the current plan.

Question: Does that mean there will be no more Study visits?

Answer: Yes, as of December 24, 2014 there will be no more Study visits. If a participant has a visit scheduled for a future date, that visit has been cancelled.

Question: What do I need to do as a participant, now that the Study is closing?

Answer: There is nothing that you as a participant need to do. The NIH thanks you and every participant for your time and contribution to the Study. Your involvement is greatly appreciated.

Question: What happens to all of the information already collected?

Answer: Information already collected will be kept by the NIH and made available for researchers to use. The NIH will continue to protect participant privacy. Additional information will be posted on the NCS website.   

Question: Will my Study results be returned?

Answer: All results that can be returned have been returned to participants.

Question: Could the NCS resume sometime in the future, or has it been closed permanently?

Answer: The National Children’s Study will not reopen. The NIH values the original goals of the Study and will look for ways to achieve those goals.