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

Guiding Our Work


Better beginnings, vibrant childhoods, empowered youth.


Foster growth and equity across Canada's human development, child and youth health research community to advance science, promote knowledge and ways of knowing, and address the needs of children, youth and families in Canada and globally.


We engage with and address the needs of children, youth and families within a lifecycle context.

We embed reconciliation, equity, diversity and inclusion across our activities.

We ensure reliable communication and open dialogue about the work our Institute and our research community leads.


We embrace the values of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR):

  • Excellence and Leadership
  • Commitment to Collaboration
  • Respect for People
  • Integrity and Accountability

Learn more about IHDCYH's vision, areas of focus and priorities by reading our Strategic Plan 2022-2026.

Short on time? Watch the 1-minute quick guide video to the strategic plan!

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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