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Information for Researchers

The Child Health and Development Studies (CHDS) collaborates with outside scientists interested in using CHDS data files. All researchers using the data files are required to sign a Confidential Data Disclosure Agreement and are legally bound by that agreement to protect the confidentiality of the data.

For more information about how the CHDS protects the confidentiality of data, please see CHDS Confidentiality.

  1. Can outside researchers use the data in CHDS for biomedical research?

    Yes. We have developed statistical files that can be used to answer important research questions. These files do not have any information that can be used to identify individual participants in the CHD studies. A summary of data items available in these statistical files can be found here. Manuals and data are available from the CHDS and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (see below).

    There are countless opportunities for professors, researchers, and PhD students to use the CHDS data to teach or for analysis of approved research questions. There are two ways to access CHDS data:

    1. The CHDS has available de-identified data on the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Data and Specimen Hub (DASH) website. NICHDS DASH is a free public resource designed for the scientific research community. DASH is a centralized resource for researchers to store de-identified data and to access data and associated biospecimens from NICHD supported studies for use in secondary research. It serves as a mechanism for NICHD-funded extramural and intramural investigators to share de-identified research data from studies in accordance with the NIH Data Sharing Policy and the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy. By supporting data sharing through NICHD DASH, NICHD aims to accelerate scientific findings and improve human health.
    2. Contact the CHDS directly. For detailed instructions on how to obtain CHDS data files for research purposes, please contact the CHDS and request the appropriate protocol:
  2. How can I get a copy of the statistical files/manuals?

    For detailed instructions on how to obtain CHDS data files for research purposes, please contact the CHDS and request the appropriate protocol:

    • If you are a researcher interested in using the CHDS data please request the CHDS Data Use Protocol
    • If you are a professor interested in using the CHDS data for teaching please request the datasets available directly through the NICHD DASH website.
    • If you are a doctoral student or post-doc interested in using the CHDS data:
      1. First check the CHDS data are available through the NICHD DASH. These data may be appropriate for certain student projects, please contact DASH directly for additional information.
      2. If the data you are seeking is not part of the NICHD DASH, please request the Student Use Protocol
        Note: At the present time CHDS staff resources are very limited, and we are unable to provide the support needed for student data sets. We hope to be able to provide this service again in the future.

        Please be advised that all applications will require review and approval by CHDS staff so be sure to submit requests with adequate time for staff to review you proposal.
  3. How may I do a study that involves contacting CHDS participants or uses archived blood samples?

    The CHDS has a policy in place to strictly protect the confidentiality of participants (see CHDS Confidentiality). In addition it is our policy to restrict the use of the serum archive to studies of high scientific importance that cannot be done otherwise and to coordinate the efforts of scientists working in similar areas. If you wish to propose a new study that would require contacting CHDS subjects or would use CHDS serum, you will need to review the CHDS Protocol for New Data Collections and/or CHDS Serum Archive Protocol and contact at CHDS to initiate an approval process. This process involves a pre-proposal that must be approved, and compliance with CHDS policies.

    To request either of these protocols, please contact the CHDS. Please be advised that CHDS requires time to evaluate proposals and cannot accept last-minute requests.