The International Network for Early Childhood Health Development
Marie Curie Exchange Program
1. INECHD Goals and Principal investigators
The general aim of the INECHD is to strengthen collaborative interdisciplinary research and knowledge transfer on early childhood health development and well-being. Recent research from numerous disciplines clearly highlights the importance of early childhood development (pregnancy to school entry) for the prevention of long term health and social adjustment problems. Large interdisciplinary and international research projects are needed to understand the interplay between bio-psycho-social mechanisms and to find effective preventive interventions.
The network brings together partners from three continents: Europe, North America and South America, to initiate, reinforce and extend research and knowledge transfer collaborations.
Specific goals of the INECHD:
- Strengthen collaborative interdisciplinary research and knowledge transfer on Early Childhood health development and well being among research institutions in Brazil, Canada, Chile, France and Ireland
- Analysis of existing longitudinal data banks on EC health and well being/creating new longitudinal studies
- Assessments of Early Childhood prevention program effects
- Transfer of best practices to early childhood service providers and decision makers
- Training early career researchers in EC health and well-being development and prevention
Leaders of the program have extensive experience of longitudinal-experimental studies and international collaborations. Staff exchange will enable partners to share data banks from large population-based longitudinal studies and experimental interventions, plan new studies and develop a web-based tool to transfer best practice knowledge to service providers and policy makers in four of the European Community languages: English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.
Over a four year period a total of 48 researchers will benefit from secondments. European researchers will spend a total of 200 months in North and South America, while South and North Americans will also spend a total of 200 months in Europe. An emphasis will be placed on training early career researchers for international and interdisciplinary longitudinal-experimental studies on early childhood development. These staff exchanges will lead to the development of research instruments adapted to the different cultures, comparable longitudinal and experimental research protocols, collaborative publications in high quality peer reviewed journals, and web-based knowledge acquisition and transfer instruments for researchers, service providers and policy makers. Knowledge transfer activities will include: mentoring, in vivo and web based annual scientific meetings, annual meetings with service providers and policy makers, seminars and workshops, symposia in international scientific meetings, development of a web-based Encyclopaedia on early childhood development, a Bulletin and a common web site. The collaborative research and knowledge transfer process that will be experimented among the five participating countries from three continents should enrich the European and Latin-American communities as a whole.
Principal investigators and affiliate universities:
Principal investigators coordinating this initiative are: