On January 2, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) released a request for information (RFI) to accompany the institute’s strategic plan for the next five years, allowing the community to comment on the scientific themes, goals, and opportunities under consideration in the new plan. On February 15, COSSA submitted an official response to the RFI on behalf of the social and behavioral science community. COSSA’s comments included the following recommendations:
- The Strategic Plan should focus on the “whole person,” to include research on development at the molecular, cellular, social, environmental, behavioral, biobehavioral, and other levels.
- The Strategic Plan should not overlook the importance of research at all stages of child development, from prenatal/infancy through adolescence, and in normative and non-normative or at-risk environments.
- The Strategic Plan should strongly emphasize research on social determinants of health.