Research & Epidemiology

The Division of Research supports research that works to solve continuing and emerging maternal and child health problems. The MCH Epidemiology and Statistics Program (MCHESP) helps federal, state and local MCH professionals improve their ability to gather, analyze, and use data for planning and policymaking.

Which Projects Does the Division of Research Fund?

To inform policy and program development, we fund projects with the potential to:

  • Eliminate health inequalities within maternal and child health populations,
  • Increase access to quality care,
  • Promote healthy development, and
  • Improve the effectiveness of health care service systems at the state, local and community level.

MCH-Field Initiated Research and Secondary Data Analysis Studies Grants

Both programs compete annually, and support research with the potential to improve health care services and promote the health and well-being of pregnant women and children.

The MCH-Field Initiated Research Grants typically:

  • Involve the collection of original data
  • Have a project period of up to three years
  • Provide awards of up to $300,000 per year total costs (direct + indirect) and $900,000 total costs across all 3 years (direct + indirect)

The MCH-Field Initiated Secondary Data Analysis Studies (SDAS) Grants:

  • Focus on secondary analyses of existing national or other large-scale datasets
  • Provide support for 1 year
  • Provide awards of up to $100,000 total costs (direct + indirect)

Search funded research projects by fiscal year, type and other categories.

Research Networks

Supporting a wide variety of research networks allows us to further advance the science in a number of programmatic and policy areas related to maternal and child health. Access the research networks we fund towards our mutual goal of improving the health and well-being of pregnant women and children.

How Does the Division of Research Assist Grantees?

Through ongoing technical assistance—in many forms—we provide multi-layered support to grantees.


Two sets of webinar series – DataSpeak and EnRICH – exist to give grantees the knowledge and guidance to effectively complete their funded activities.

DataSpeak is a series of webinars, each featuring a special topic related to Maternal and Child Health (MCH) data. Each event features one or more speakers who are considered experts in their field.

EnRICH (Research Innovations and Challenges) Webinar Series features one or more experts speaking about topics related to Maternal and Child Health research.

Data Resource Center

Data Resource Center for Child & Adolescent Health (DRC)exit disclaimer icon

Sponsored by a cooperative agreement with MCHB, the DRC provides children’s health data on a variety of important topics, including the health and well-being of children and access to quality care. Data is specifically designed to assist states with child health needs assessment, program planning and evaluation, policy and standards development, monitoring, training, applied research and development of systems of care for children and youth.

Other contributions by the DRC include publications and research we fund and direct, including the National Survey of Children's Health.

By 2017, these two surveys will combine to form a single survey each year.

Chart Books and Reports

We produce reports, including the following, to serve as a reference for policymakers and program managers:

Women’s Health USA 2013 - data on health challenges facing women, their families and their communities. Access previous editions of Women’s Health USA.

Child Health USA 2014 – data on the health status and service needs of America’s infants, children and adolescents. Access previous editions of Child Health USA.

America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2015 - presents key indicators in seven domains: family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health.

Which Programs Does the MCH Epidemiology and Statistics Program (MCHESP) Fund?

Funding for the Epidemiology Writing Program, the Epidemiology Training Course and the Graduate Student Epidemiology Program provide assistance and resources to state and local agencies, while also opening opportunities for future MCH leaders.

The Epidemiology Writing Program

State and local agencies collect valuable information and data as a result of their programmatic efforts. But with limited resources available, receiving recognition for these efforts can be difficult given the amount of time it can take to publish scientific literature. Through the MCHESP their research findings can become peer-reviewed journals at no cost.

Specifically, we provide:

  • Guidance on research direction and appropriate topic selection
  • Development of background information, including literature reviews
  • Assistance in presenting the methods, findings, and discussion and submitting the final article in the correct format
  • Consultation on selecting the appropriate journal for the article
  • Help with responding to comments from reviewers

Need assistance? Send a synopsis—no more than two pages—of your proposed article to the address below. Your proposal will be evaluated on subject matter, quality of study, type of analyses, and its prospects for publication.

2000 M Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036

Phone: 202-842-2000
Fax: 202-728-9469

The MCH Epidemiology Training Course

In partnership with CityMatCH exit disclaimer icon and CDC, we host an annual three to five day intensive training course aimed at full-time staff at a state, territorial, tribal, county or city health agency or community-based organization.

Course content covers a broad-base of applied epidemiology and statistics fundamentals for continuing education, including:

  • needs assessment and prioritization,
  • objective setting and performance measurement,
  • program evaluation,
  • multivariable regression, and
  • effective data presentation and translation, as well as
  • some specialized topics that vary from year to year.

To maximize training effectiveness, the target skill level alternates from basic/intermediate to intermediate/advanced. Find out about 2016’s training course – and access resources from previous years.exit disclaimer icon

Graduate Student Epidemiology Program (GSEP)

Every year, the GSEP helps health departments and maternal and child health agencies match with public health graduate students for a unique summer internship. Over 250 students have participated in the past 10 years, thanks to the more than 75 agencies, which have provided students with GSEP opportunities.

The student gains valuable work experience, possible academic credit, and a $4,500 living stipend. The agency gets much needed help with a data analysis and monitoring, needs assessment or program evaluation project.

Determine if you’re an eligible agency and if so, when and how to submit a proposed project exit disclaimer icon. If you’re a student interested in applying for the GSEP, find out eligibility and submission requirements exit disclaimer icon.

Date Last Reviewed:  July 2016

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Autism Research

Learn about our MCH Research Program efforts to address issues affecting people with autism, and their families:

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