The ORSC has the following features:
- The ORSC is a virtual “center of ideas” housed in the NICHD Office of the Director. Members of the ORSC contribute their expertise to ORSC activities, but remain administratively in their current Branches, Centers, and Divisions.
- All interested NICHD components (intramural and extramural) can participate in the ORSC. Interested extramural staff share responsibilities for overseeing obesity-related grants (as in current practice).
- Members of the ORSC formally convene three times a year (approximating the NICHD’s advisory council cycle) to evaluate the NICHD obesity portfolio and to discuss the state of the science and upcoming activities.
- An Executive Committee is appointed annually by the ORSC director, following consultation with the entire ORSC membership, to assist with day-to-day administrative decisions or review of ORSC materials and documents, including preparations for each formal ORSC meeting.
- At each of the three formal ORSC meetings, ad hoc expert consultants are invited to provide input on how the NICHD can further enhance childhood or maternal obesity prevention and control. A specific topic of focus may be selected for each meeting. The meetings may incorporate formal presentations by NICHD staff and external members, in addition to roundtable discussions.
- When appropriate, different NICHD components comprising the ORSC are encouraged to develop joint initiatives that cut across different disciplines.
- The ORSC strives to enhance the NICHD’s presence and credibility in the obesity research field both nationally and internationally.