On March 26, 2013, the fiscal year 2013 funding bill for the federal government became law. The law includes the appropriation for the Department of Health and Human Services and for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Incorporated into the NIH section of the law is the appropriation for the National Children's Study (NCS). The text in full reads:
“That $165,000,000 shall be for the National Children’s Study (NCS), except that not later than July 15, 2013 the Director [of the NIH] shall estimate the amount needed for the NCS during fiscal year 2013, taking into account the succeeding proviso, and any funds in excess of the estimated need shall be transferred to and merged with the accounts for the various Institutes and Centers of NIH in proportion to their shares of total NIH appropriations made by this Act: Provided further, That the Director [of the NIH] shall contract with the National Academy of Sciences within 60 days of enactment of this Act to appoint an expert Institute of Medicine/National Research Council (IOM/NRC) panel to conduct a comprehensive review and issue a report regarding proposed methodologies for the NCS Main Study, including whether such methodologies are likely to produce scientifically sound results that are generalizable to the United States population and appropriate sub-populations: Provided further, That no contracts shall be awarded for conducting the Main Study until at least 60 days after the IOM/NRC report has been available to the public.”
The National Children’s Study is currently in its Vanguard, or pilot, phase and has not yet begun the Main Study. As it awaits the results of the pending review by the IOM/NRC, the NCS will continue to focus on activities related to the Vanguard phase, including ongoing interaction with the approximately 5,000 children enrolled, ongoing recruitment at selected sites, and key analyses that will inform the Main Study. Our commitment to the 40 communities currently participating in the Vanguard phase and to all stakeholders continues. We anticipate that the Main Study will start a few months after the IOM/NRC report is published.
As the National Children’s Study continues its work, we will continue to post updated information on this website and to share details of this evolving process with all stakeholders.