The CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH) is dedicated to developmental, physical and mental well-being throughout the life cycle from a population perspective. What sets IHDCYH apart from other CIHR Institutes is the fact that its research community enquires into all the needs of children and families rather than being bound to one disease, or one organ.  Since its inception, IHDCYH’s strategic focus has been the process and integration of human development, including biological, behavioural and social factors. By facilitating partnerships and working to accelerate the translation of new knowledge, IHDCYH funds and promotes research that addresses illness and promotes the well-being of Canadian children, youth and families. 

There is a compelling need for an institute that is dedicated to human development and child and youth health. In Canada there are more than 5 million women of childbearing age, and their offspring will add to the 8 million children and youth in Canada that represent the future of our country. IHDCYH supports research that ensures the best start in life for all Canadians and the achievement of their potential for optimal growth and development. Through our support, researchers address a wide range of health concerns, including those associated with reproduction, early development, childhood, and adolescence.

The transition of the developing fetus through infancy, childhood, adolescence and eventually adulthood is influenced by multiple, complex factors. By facilitating partnerships and working to accelerate the transfer of new knowledge, IHDCYH addresses the causes of illness, its prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, short and long-term support systems, and palliation for the benefit of Canadian children, youth and families.

Who we are


Leading health research for excellence in child and family health outcomes

Leading the creation and application of world-class research to strive for the best reproductive, infant, early development, childhood and youth health outcomes, IHDCYH integrates leadership, innovation, collaboration and knowledge translation.

Mission: To promote and support research that improves the health and development of mothers, infants, children, youth, and families in Canada and throughout the world.         

Values: CIHR’s core values underpin all of IHDCYH’s work. IHDCYH is being guided by these core values as follows:

  • Excellence – In all aspects of its work, including basic research and knowledge translation to inform health policies, IHDCYH strives to meet the highest international standards of excellence.
  • Scientific Integrity and Ethics – IHDCYH upholds and promotes adherence to relevant research and ethical principles with the utmost honesty, probity and professionalism. We will continue to promote the highest ethical principles and processes in all aspects of our work and activities.
  • Collaboration – IHDCYH promotes, encourages and values collaboration among researchers in Canada and internationally, and will build on our collaboration with and support of domestic and international partners to fulfill this part of our mandate.
  • Innovation – IHDCYH values new ideas and creative approaches to addressing health and health system challenges in Canada and around the world. Our researchers know that Innovation is essential to help improve health outcomes for families, children and youth.
  • Public Interest – The public interest is of paramount importance in the creation and use of health knowledge throughout all research and related activities supported by IHDCYH.  We strive to translate new knowledge into public policy to help improve the health of children, youth and families.

What we do

IHDCYH supports and links researchers located in universities, hospitals and other research centers across Canada. In addition to supporting research development and capacity, IHDCYH aims to develop, foster and sustain effective partnerships and collaboration; facilitate integrated knowledge translation to ensure better evidence creation and application; facilitate data sharing to ensure collaborative, robust, easily accessible and reliable data for evidence-informed decisions; and embrace global health to inform strategic initiatives.

As a life-cycle based Institute, IHDCYH has a broad mandate that covers defined time periods and a wide range of issues pertaining to human development: pre-conception; fertilization; embryonic and fetal development; the health of the mother and father; and the health and development of infants, children and youth.

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