Congressional mandate established the IDDRCs (formerly the Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers), 1 year after the Institute’s founding in the early 1960s. These centers were to provide facilities and support for research in IDD and to develop university-affiliated facilities for training personnel to care for individuals with IDD.
The focus of the program is to support researchers whose goals are to understand the causes of and to develop treatments for IDD. During the last 40 years, the Centers’ activities have made dramatic strides in achieving these goals.
Currently, 15 funded sites located at universities and children’s hospitals throughout the country comprise the Eunice Kennedy Shriver IDDRCs. Many of these Centers are at institutions that also support University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDDs), which represent 67 sites located in every state in the country. Quite a few Centers also overlap with the 43 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) programs, which are funded through the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to provide interdisciplinary leadership training. Thus, these three programs—the IDDRCs, UCEDDs, and LENDs—function synergistically at many sites to promote IDD-related research, service, and training.
A P30 grant mechanism funds the Eunice Kennedy Shriver IDDRCs in the form of core infrastructure supporting independently funded, IDD-relevant projects and new program development projects. Visit http://www.nichd.nih.gov/research/supported/Pages/eksiddrc.aspx for more information.