The NCS, authorized by the Children’s Health Act of 2000, was a planned large-scale, long-term study of U.S. children and their parents designed to study environmental influences on child health and development.
The NCS Vanguard (Pilot) Study began in 2009, testing methods and procedures planned for use in a larger Main Study. When recruitment ended in July 2013, the Vanguard Study had enrolled approximately 5,000 children in 40 locations across the country.
The planned NCS Main Study would have followed 100,000 children from before birth to age 21. However, the NIH Director decided to close the NCS on December 12, 2014, following the advice of an expert review group.
The NCS Archive (NOT-HD-16-005), created after the study closed, provides researchers with access to more than 250,000 data and samples, along with nearly 19,000 biological and 5,500 environmental primary samples, collected in the NCS Vanguard Study.
Available information includes study visit data from preconception to 42 months post birth gathered using questionnaires and interviews, neuro-psychosocial and cognitive assessments, and physical examinations. Specifically, the NCS Archive includes:
- Study protocols (Initial Vanguard Study and Alternate Recruitment Substudy)
- Operation manuals
- Project summaries
- Data collection instruments
- Prenatal and postnatal interviews
- Fetal and neonatal assessments
- Physical measures instruments
- Self-administered questionnaires
- Biospecimen collection forms
- Environmental sample forms
- Master operational, special analysis, demographic, and biospecimen and environmental lab results datasets
- Codebooks/variable dictionaries
- De-identification methodology
- Publications lists
- Teaching datasets
The NCS Archive was recently transferred to NICHD’s Data and Specimen Hub (DASH). Researchers can request access to the NCS Archive to conduct their own research and answer original research questions.
Those with questions about the NCS Archive should email DASH at SupportDASH@mail.nih.gov for assistance.
- National Children’s Study Archive: Study Description and Guide (PDF 1.4 MB) provides a more detailed summary of the scientific basis and operations of the NCS Vanguard Study
- NICHD Contact: Jack Moye
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