In its Vision process, the NICHD and its external partners will think broadly, transcending traditional boundaries of organizations and disciplines to identify the next decade's most promising scientific opportunities across the Institute's diverse research areas. Unlike strategic planning efforts, in which the Institute sets specific priorities for its individual components, the Vision process will set a direction for the NICHD as a whole.

The desired outcome of this process is a Vision Statement that will chart an ambitious but achievable scientific vision for the NICHD and its research communities.

To help develop this Vision, the Institute will ask for input from scientific, policy, and public health experts from many different disciplines; members of Institute advisory committees; representatives from professional societies and advocacy organizations; and NICHD and NIH staff. Ultimately, the NICHD aims to publish its final Vision statement in one or more scientific journals and through other outlets.

Process and Timeline

The following dates are tentative and subject to change.


May 2010

: The NICHD convenes a group of extramural and intramural staff members to identify broad scientific themes that encompass the NICHD's multifaceted research portfolio.



June 2010

: Then Acting Director Dr. Alan Guttmacher, M.D., presents the proposed Vision process to the National Advisory Child Health and Human Development (NACHHD) Council, the Institute's federal advisory committee, to seek input and approval of the Vision themes.



January-March 2011

: The NICHD sponsors a series of workshops to facilitate focused discussions on the scientific opportunities and needs related to each Vision theme. White papers produced at the conclusion of the workshops form the foundation for the draft scientific Vision statement.



June 2011

: The NICHD holds a large multidisciplinary conference at which participants provide feedback to the draft scientific Vision statement.



September 2011

: NICHD leadership presents the draft vision statement (PDF - 1.1 MB) to the NACHHD Council for additional input.



By December 2012

: The NICHD completes the final version of the scientific Vision statement and prepares it for publication to inform the Institute's partners and stakeholders and to help stimulate future research activities.


NICHD Director Alan E. Guttmacher, M.D., recently
discussed the Vision process and goals in an
article published in The Lancet External Web Site Policy

NICHD Director Describes Vision Process

Read the text alternative

Questions? Email us at NICHDvision@mail.nih.gov
Last Reviewed: 05/18/2012