Prevention Research at NICHD

Woman smiling as she prepares to eat an apple.Prevention is an important focus of the research NICHD conducts and supports.

Prevention includes multiple aspects1 including:

  • Primary Prevention: Intervening before health effects occur. These interventions, like vaccines, may keep a condition, disease, or disability from occurring at all.
  • Secondary Prevention: Screening to identify a disease or condition as early as possible, usually before symptoms have started. These early interventions, such as those that result from newborn screening, may prevent the condition from affecting health or may minimize health effects and symptoms.
  • Tertiary Prevention: Managing health after diagnosis. These interventions, such as rehabilitation and medication, may prevent or reduce the severity of poor health outcomes and may improve long-term health.

Within this context, NICHD’s prevention-related efforts cover a range of topics, such as preterm labor and birth, mother-to-child-transmission of HIV and other infectious diseases, pediatric obesity, rehabilitation through physical activity and exercise, pregnancy loss, and newborn screening.

Applications proposing prevention-related research may be submitted through a range of Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs). This list is not exhaustive or prescriptive, but is offered as a starting point. Please contact the appropriate Program Official (PDF 222 KB) to discuss your idea.

  • NOT-OD-22-178: Increasing Uptake of Evidence-Based Screening in Diverse Populations Across the Lifespan
  • NOT-OD-22-179 : Addressing Evidence Gaps in Screening
  • NOT-HD-22-018: Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Prevention and Treatment through a Comprehensive Care Continuum for HIV-Affected Adolescents in Resource-Constrained Settings Implementation Science Network Clinical Research Centers
  • NOT-OD-22-125: IMPROVE Initiative: Implementation Science to Advance Maternal Health and Maternal Health Equity
  • NOT-AT-22-004: Dissemination and Implementation Research to Advance Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Health Preventive Interventions in School Settings
  • NOT-HD-21-048: Research on Drowning Prevention
  • NOT-HD-21-038: Promoting Vaccine Access, Acceptance, and Uptake among Children, Adolescents, Pregnant and Lactating Women, and Persons with Disabilities
  • NOT-HD-21-032: Reduction of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  • NOT-HD-21-025: Reproductive Health, Pregnancy, and Parenting among Women with Disabilities
  • PAR-21-305: Time-Sensitive Obesity Policy and Program Evaluation (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • PAR-19-274: Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)
  • NOT-OD-21-087: Developing and Testing Multilevel Physical Activity Interventions to Improve Health and Well-Being

The NICHD Parent Announcement page also lists FOAs that can be used for prevention-related projects.



  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (n.d.). Picture of America: Prevention quick facts. Retrieved May 2, 2019, from (PDF 616 KB)
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