Established by law and charter, the National Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Advisory Council meets three times annually to advise the NIDDK about its research portfolio. The Council typically undertakes broad issues of science policy. Members of the Advisory Council are drawn from the scientific and lay communities, are appointed for 4-year terms, and represent all areas within the Institute's research mission. An important role of the Council is to provide second-level peer review of grant applications that have been scored by scientific review groups. The Council members are an important liaison between the research communities they represent and the NIDDK, which supports each community's research efforts.