NIH follows a dual step process in reviewing grant applications. The initial review is performed either by the Center for Scientific Review or NIH review groups that review and evaluate the scientific merit of research grant applications.
The second level of peer review is carried out by the NIH National Advisory Councils. These Councils are composed of scientists from the extramural research community and public representatives. The ECB module supports the second level of review.
The National Advisory Council generally performs the second level of review during one of three council periods each year. The three pre-defined "council periods" are referred to by the month in which the council meetings usually occur: January, May and October. There is an optional fourth council period in August.
Who can use the ECB?
The different ECB modules are designed for different target audiences:
- The Council Administration Module (CAM) is the configuration tool used exclusively by designated council data administrators at each IC. Access to the CAM is generally limited to one or two people at each IC with these responsibilities.
- The 'Council Version' of ECB or 'Council Member Interface' is the public face of ECB. This is the tool used by IC council members to retrieve all council meeting related data.
- The Council Portal and Archive (CPA) system is for staff users of the Electronic Council Book. The CPA replicates all the functions and content of the Council ECB and also includes an archive of data from previous council periods (dating to May 2007).