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Prevention Research at the NICHD

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The NICHD seeks to advance knowledge and improve public health through prevention research. The Associate Director for Prevention Research helps accomplish this mission by assessing, promoting, and coordinating prevention research within the NICHD.

Definition of Prevention

Prevention research can be primary or secondary. Primary prevention seeks to prevent onset, while secondary prevention seeks to reduce the severity, consequences, and recurrence of disease or disorder, injury, or disability. At some level, all NIH research, including basic research with tissue or animals seeks to prevent health problems. However, the emphasis on prevention here is on human research with direct prevention outcomes in the form of health or risk factors. Prevention research includes studies with human populations and the following purposes:

  • Identification and assessment of risk and protective factors

  • Screening of individuals at risk

  • Intervention research (either clinical or population) to reduce risk, including efficacy, effectiveness, translation, and dissemination research


  • Monitor NICHD investments in prevention research and assess the progress and results of that research.

  • Identify prevention research areas for investment or expanded effort by the NICHD.

  • Promote investment in prevention research within the NICHD.

  • Increase the visibility of prevention research within NICHD and to the outside community.

  • Represent the prevention research interests of the NICHD within and without the NIH.

  • Develop a strategic plan for prevention research at the NICHD.


  • Develop an operational definition of prevention research.

  • Assess the status of NICHD prevention research.

  • Identify prevention research strengths, gaps, opportunities.

  • Develop prevention research priorities.

  • Develop actions to address prevention research priorities.

  • Organize expert conferences

  • Stimulate program announcements

  • Participate in interagency collaborations

  • Serve as a member of the NIH Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) Prevention Research Coordinating Committee.

  • Respond to timely opportunities to advance prevention research.

  • Respond to requests for information, review and comment, etc.

  • Serve as a liaison to other agencies.

  • Sponsor expert workshops and conferences.


Prevention research is supported primarily through the NICHD extramural branches. The NICHD Associate Director for Prevention Research has no separate research budget and does not issue RFPs or other funding announcements and does not manage a grant portfolio.

However, information about relevant NICHD research funding opportunities and expert conferences will be posted on this page as they become available.

Government Prevention Programs

NICHD prevention research seeks to support a federal government environment that includes many offices, programs, and entities with a focus on prevention research. Among these include the following:

Contact Information

Name: Dr Bruce Simons-Morton
Associate Director for Prevention
Senior Investigator & Chief
Health Behavior Branch, DIPHR
Phone: 301-496-5674
Fax: 301-402-2084
BOND National Institues of Health Home Home Division of Intramural Population Health Research