U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Instructions for Using the NIH Electronic Council Book

(For NIDDK Advisory Council Members Only)

What is the NIH Electronic Council Book?

The NIH Electronic Council Book (ECB) provides access to NIH Summary Statements. Using World Wide Web and Internet capabilities for database search and retrieval, as an NIDDK Advisory Council member you may read, search, sort, and print any or all of the summary statements for a Council round that has either a DK primary or secondary assignment. NIH staff load data and summary statements into the ECB each night, so the ECB is always current.

The data in the ECB, and the codes you use for access to those data, are confidential and must be protected.  Since the ECB contains confidential data, you should not leave it unattended.  Use it and then disconnect.  If for some reason you are inactive for approximately one hour, the system will automatically disconnect, and you will have to login again.

How do I get started?

You or your institution will supply your computer access to the NIH computer, via an Internet connection and a WEB browser (such as Firefox, Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer).  An NIDDK staff member will give you the information necessary to identify yourself to the NIH computer where the ECB is located.  That information includes two codes.  The first is called your ”USER NAME”; the second is your “PASSWORD”.  Once you have this information, you are ready to start.

Assuming you are already connected to the internet, use your web browser to access the following page (internet URL or WEB address): https://ecb.nih.gov/council/login.cfm

You will see a screen entitled “NIH Electronic Council Book” with two blank boxes for your USER NAME and your PASSWORD.   Neither the USER NAME nor the PASSWORD are case sensitive.  To log in to the ECB:

  • Enter your USER NAME, for example, ECB_JOHNST
  • Press Tab or move the mouse cursor to the PASSWORD block
  • Enter your PASSWORD
  • Click on LOGON

Please note that the password issued to you by NIDDK staff is a temporary  password and you must change it before you can login to the ECB.  To change your password, go to the ECB login page (see below) and click on the link to the “Council Member Change Password Page.”   Use the NIDDK-issued password as the “Old Password,” and follow the instructions on this page to change your password to a password of your choosing.  If you have problems changing your password, please contact Teresa Lindquist (lindquit@niddk.nih.gov, 301-451-6418).

If you have entered an incorrect USER NAME, you can click on CLEAR, and enter the information again.

How Do I Use the System?

When you log on to the ECB, you will go directly to the Search For Projects tab.  The Search Criteria appear in a list on the left of the screen; you can use this menu to move quickly through the sections of the search screen.  Clicking on the name of any search item will provide you with help for that item.

PLEASE NOTE that when moving through the screens in the ECB it is best to use the small red arrows in the upper left hand corner of your screen rather than the “Back” button on your browser.

Note that in the Basic Search Options portion of the Search screen, there is an item entitled:  Output Option.  There are two choices: Standard Project List and Resumé Project List.  A search using the Standard Project List format will return a list containing the project (or grant) number, PI name, project title, RFA or PA number, percentile, priority score, study section name, IC Program Class Code, and the PI’s institution.  The Resume Project List retrieves the “Summary of Review and Discussion” section of the summary statement in addition to the items in the Standard Project List.  This version of the Project List provides a useful overview of the review of a single application or group of applications.

TO INITIATE A SEARCH

Commonly searched items are located near the top of the Search screen.  Searching is very flexible.  Please note that all searches default to applications on which NIDDK is the primary Institute; if you are looking for an application assigned to another NIH Institute or Center you will need to select either “Primary and Dual Projects” or “Dual Projects only” in the Review/Program Section of the Search screen.   

Conduct a search by inserting the particular criteria (Principal Investigator’s name; Application number; Study Section, etc.)

  • To search for a specific summary statement, enter either the application number or the Principal Investigator’s last name in the appropriate box.  You do not need to enter the entire grant number or full PI name; the system will find all applications that meet your criteria.
  • T o search for a group of summary statements that meet certain search criteria (such as all the applications reviewed by a particular SRG, projects in a range of priority scores or percentiles, or all applications reviewed in response to a particular RFA or any other combination of information), simply enter that information in the appropriate boxes.
  • To search for all applications on a specific scientific topic, simply enter the appropriate term in the boxes labeled “Summary Text Contains.”  This search criterion has two boxes and a drop-down menu between them that allows use of a Boolean logical operator (AND, OR, and NOT) to connect two character strings. Note: If one is searching for a topic such as “endocrine disruptors” consider the two words as a single character string and enter both words in the left box separated by a space rather than one in each box.  You may use these fields to search the Summary Statement, the Project Title, or both of these items. 

To initiate a new search, click on the Clear Criteria button.  This will remove all prior search criteria except for the defaults in percentile and priority score  Clicking on the Default Criteria will reset all criteria to their default values.

SEARCH CRITERIA EXAMPLES

Principal Investigator (PI)

In the PI/Institution section enter the first several letters of the PI’s last name in the box labeled “Principle Investigator Starts With:”.  For example, searching for “Ham” will return matches for Hamilton, Hammerman, Hammes, Hampe, etc.  The more complete the name, the more exact will be the search results.

Scientific Review Group (SRG)

In the Review/Program section of the search screen, type the three- or four-character abbreviation of the SRG (e.g., MET, NTN, CVB) in the field labeled “Scientific Review Group Contains”.   If you are looking for an application that was reviewed in a Special Emphasis Panel, please enter information in the boxes labeled “Special Emphasis Panel”.  For example, if you enter “DK” in the first box for this search item, the search will return all applications reviewed in NIDDK Special Emphasis Panels (ZDK).  

Program Code (PCC)

It is important to enter the Program Class Codes correctly.  All NIDDK Program Class Codes consist of 8 characters: three characters, a blank space, and then four characters.  For example, to search for Obesity Special Projects (Program Class Code = NBH OBSP), place NBH in the first three boxes.  Leave the next box blank and enter OBSP in the remaining 4 boxes.    

Application/Grant Number

The identification number is commonly referred to as the application number or grant number, depending upon its processing status. The identification number consists of several parts, each having a distinct meaning. The following example shows the parts of an ID number assigned to an amendment (A1) to a supplemental (Type 3) application for a traditional research project (R01) referred to the National Cancer Institute (CA). The number further identifies the application serially as the 65412st new proposal submitted to the NCI, and indicates that this is the first supplemental application (S1) to the fourth year (-04) of support to this project.

Explanation of Grant application/award identification NUMBERING system:

​Suffixes
​Application Type ​Activity Code ​Administering Org Serial Number Grant Year ​Other
​3 R01​ ​CA ​65412 ​04 ​S1A1

Application Type Code - A single-digit code identifying the type of application received and processed.   The codes are as follows:  1 New; 2 Competing Continuation; 3 Supplement; 4 Extension; 5 Noncompeting Continuation; 6 Change of Institute or Division; 7 Change of Grantee or Training Institution; 8 Change of Institute or Division (noncompeting continuation); 9 Change of Institute or Division (competing continuation)

Activity Code - A three-digit code identifying a specific category of extramural activity (e.g., R01, R03, R33, T32, F33, R44, U01).

Administering Organization Code (Also referred to as an IC Code or Admin PHS Org Code) - A two-letter code identifying the primary NIH Institute or Center to which the application is assigned.  In the above example, "CA" refers to the National Cancer Institute.

Serial Number - A six-digit number generally assigned sequentially to a series within an NIH Institute or Center.

Suffixes - A field composed of the following components:

Grant year - A two-digit number indicates the actual segment or budget period of a project. The grant year number (01, 02, etc.) is preceded by a dash to separate it from the serial number; e.g., AI 12345-02 or CA 00900-04. The grant year number is increased by one for each succeeding renewal year. Thus, the 04 year suffix in the example above identifies a grant in its fourth year.

Supplement - The letter "S" and related number identify a particular supplemental record; e.g., S1, S2. Supplement designations follow the grant year or the amendment designation, as the case may be; e.g., AI 12345-01S1 and CA 00900-04A1S2.

Amendment - The letter "A" and related number identify each amended application e.g., A1, A2, etc. Amendment designations follow the grant year or the supplement designation, as the case may be; e.g., DE 34567-02A1 and HL 45678-01S1A2.

SEARCH CRITERIA EXAMPLES CONTINUED

Text Search

A text word search retrieves applications containing one or two search terms.  The search is performed against the summary statement narrative and the Project title and may take slightly longer to return the results.  Submitting a search with an entry in the first box will find all summary statements and/or Project titles containing that single word anywhere in the text.  To enter two text words, select the correct Boolean logical operator (and, or, not) from the drop-down menu between the two text boxes.

Priority Score/Percentile

The system sets a default priority score and percentile to focus on the applications being reviewed by the Advisory Councils.  The default for the percentile is between 00 and 30 and for the priority score, between 100 and 300.  These defaults can be deleted or changed.  Score ranges can be cleared by clicking the “Clear Scores” button below the data entry boxes.  If you wish to enter different ranges, highlight the contents of these boxes and enter different numbers.

ADVANCED SEARCH CRITERIA EXAMPLES

Summary Statements Released Since

A frequent user of the system will be able to retrieve summary statements released into the database since the last time the user logged into the system.  For example, to retrieve all summary statements since January 15, 2003, the entry would be 01/15/2003 (mm/dd/yyyy).  You can also select applications based on whether or the Summary Statement has been released by selecting the appropriate option in the drop down box.

RFA/PA Number

The IC will provide its Council members with valid RFA/PA numbers.   Please use the format as provided on the search screen in the Application ID section.   Please note that if you are interested in Roadmap applications there is a radio button in the Basic Search Options section that allows you to include only Roadmap applications in your search.

Direct Cost Recommended

In the Review/Program Section you can search for applications based on specified budget amounts.   For example, entering 1000000 and selecting “Greater Than or Equal To” from the drop-down menu will retrieve a list of applications with budgets of one million dollars or more.

Special Selects

The Special Selects Sections provides options for searching on several different criteria.  You may search on one criterion or a combination of criteria.   Foreign applications are those applications from organizations outside the boundaries and territories of the United States. In the Special Selects Section, check the box ‘Foreign Grants’ to retrieve a list of summary statements of all foreign applications.  Phase 3 Clinical Trials are identified by the Initial Review Group.  AIDS identifies applications involving AIDS-related research.  You may also search for applications with various human or animals subjects concerns.

COMPLETING YOUR SEARCH

Once you are satisfied with the search criteria, click the Search button at the top of the page Please note that there is a default score range of 0 to 30 PERCENTILE and 100 to 300 PRIORITY SCORE.  If you need to search ALL applications, please clear these values prior to running your search. 

 SEARCH RESULTS

When a search is completed a hit list  will be displayed with the search criteria listed at the top.  The hit list  will include all data on all applications that meet the search criteria you have selected.  The search criteria will be listed at the top of the list of applications for easy reference.  

The hit list is compiled as a table with one application per line.  You may increase or decrease the number of applications displayed on the page by using the Set Records per page display in the upper left corner.

The list contains the following information for each application:

Count ​- Sequence number of applications as retrieved
Email ​- A link to the Program Officer’s email address
Project Number ​- Type, activity, and serial number
RFA/PA - The RFA or PA announcement number, if any, with a link to the Program Announcement in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
PI Name - Name of principal investigator
Percentile - Percentile rank
Priority  ​- Priority score
Project Title ​- Title of research application
Study Section - Scientific Review Group, with a link to the Study Section roster
IC-Prog Code ​- Program Class Code for the primary IC
Institution ​- Applicant organization​

VIEWING SUMMARY STATEMENTS

To view a particular summary statement click on the project number. The next screen will be the complete summary statement.  Note: Each hit list will list all applications that satisfy the search criteria whether or not the summary statement is currently available.  For Netscape users, the grant number will be a different color (usually blue) and underlined if the summary statement is available.  Also, there will be a check box on the left margin (see instructions below on downloading one or more summary statements for offline reading).

The Electronic Council Book allows you to retrieve and download groups of summary statements.  In addition, the user now has the ability to selectively "tag" and "untag" items in the hit list by checking the boxes on the left margin.  This allows the user to create highly customized hit lists for the purpose of downloading summary statements.  

 Summary statements may be retrieved in several ways:

  •  Download one or more Summary Statements as a single PDF file that can be printed locally (you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer to use this feature). To download a group of summary statements as a single PDF, check the boxes on the left margin for all applications you wish to include.
  • Download a collection of Summary Statements as a “Zip” file from which individual summary statements can be viewed or printed.   You will need a program that extracts zip files in order to view the summary statements.  To download a group of summary statements as a single zip file, check the boxes on the left margin for all applications you wish to include.
  • View individual summary statements in the browser without distracting page headers embedded in the text. To view a single summary statement in your browser window, click on the project number.

VIEWING IRG/SRG ROSTERS

To view the roster of members for a particular Study Section simply click on the SRG identifier on the hit list  The IRG identifier is adjacent to the application of interest.

For assistance please contact:

Teresa Lindquist, lindquit@niddk.nih.gov​ or 301-451-6418

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