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User Documentation for the NIH Electronic Council Book (ECB)

(For Members of the NLM Board of Regents)

Once you are connected to the Internet, use your preferred web browser to access this URL:

Log on using the IMPAC II User ID and IMPAC II Password provided to you by NLM. If you have forgotten your ID or Password, contact:
Christine Ireland

The search screen is divided into two parts: the Primary Search Criteria in the top portion and Advanced Search Criteria and Special Selects in the bottom portion. The system is designed to retrieve only grants for which NLM is the primary or dual sponsor.

In the Primary Search Criteria section, you may define a basic search in a number of ways:

OUTPUT OPTION: A drop-down menu offers two options. The default, STANDARD HIT LIST, returns a list containing the Percentile Score, Priority Score, Initial Review Group (IRG), Program Code, Project Number, Principal Investigator (PI) and Title. The other option, RESUMÉ HIT LIST, retrieves the items in the STANDARD HIT LIST plus the "Summary of Review and Discussion" section of the summary statement.

PROJECTS: A drop-down menu offers the selection of ALL PROJECTS (the default), ASSIGNED PROJECTS ONLY, or DISCUSSION PROJECTS ONLY. Use the default to see all projects being considered in this council round.

ACTIVITY CODES: Choose one or more (e.g., R01, G08, F38) to restrict your search to a type of grant. The default (if nothing is chosen) is all activity codes, including grants and awards.

PRIMARY/DUAL PROJECTS: Choose PRIMARY PROJECTS ONLY to see only applications reviewed by the BLIRC and other NLM Study Sections. The default (Primary/Dual) includes applications that were reviewed by other study sections.

SCORE RANGES: Specify a range or subset of all scores by making a selection. If you use this feature, use the SEARCH SELECTED SCORES button at the top of the page.

SORT HIT LIST: The default is to sort the HIT LIST by Principal Investigator. You can change the order by clicking on values, and may sort by more than one value. The first value in the list is the first sort criterion. To change the order, click on options in the right-side box to remove them, and then click items in the left-side box to select new sort options.


Upon successful execution of a search, a list of all grants, which match the search criteria, is returned. This list is compiled as a table with one or two lines per application. Reading left to right, the description contains the following information:

Count Sequence number of applications as retrieved
Project Number Type, activity, and serial number (Grant Number)
Pctile Percentile rank
PI Name Name of principal investigator
Prior Priority score
Title Title of research application
Study Section Scientific Review Group
Prog Code Program Code
Institution Applicant organization

There is additional information about HIT LISTs at the end of this document.

VIEWING SUMMARY STATEMENTS: To view a particular summary statement on the HIT LIST click on any underlined Project Number. The next screen will be the complete summary statement which will be displayed in Adobe pdf format.

To view or print these documents, you must use the Adobe Acrobat Reader. The Reader is free and available directly from Adobe's website with full installation instructions.

Note: Each HIT LIST lists all applications that satisfy the search criteria whether or not the summary statement is currently available. For Netscape users, the PROJECT 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 statement for offline reading).

The ECB allows you to download groups of summary statements so you can print them locally. However, since summary statements are confidential documents, we ask that you do not download them to your desktop or laptop computer.

VIEWING IRG/SRG ROSTERS: To view the roster of members on a particular IRG simply click on the Study Section identifier on the HIT LIST. The Study Section identifier is below the title, e.g., ZLM1, SSS-E (05) or BLR.


  • Use your browser's "BACK" button to return to the search screen.
  • Remember to "CLEAR CRITERIA" after each search.
  • To exit ECB, quit your browser by closing the browser window.


  • To search for a particular summary statement, enter either the application number or the Principal Investigators last name in the appropriate box. Note: The system is designed such that only the first several letters of the Principal Investigator's surname are needed for a successful search.
  • To search for a group of summary statements that meet certain search criteria (such as all the applications reviewed by a particular IRG 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 Statement 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.
  • To search for applications reviewed by a specific IRG or SEP, go to the primary search screen, click CLEAR CRITERIA, and select PRIMARY GROUP ONLY from the PRIMARY/DUAL PROJECTS drop-down menu.
    • For applications reviewed by BLIRC only, enter BLR in the 1st box in the line labeled SCIENTIFIC REVIEW GROUP CONTAINS
    • For applications reviewed by one of NLM's SEP groups, enter LM1 (LM one) in the first box on the line labeled SPECIAL EMPHASIS PANEL
  • To arrange the HIT LIST by activity and principal investigator (i.e., by grant mechanism, sorted by PI within each type of grant), follow these steps:
    • Use your browser BACK button to return to the Primary Search Screen
    • Click the CLEAR CRITERIA button at the top of the screen
    • Scroll down to SORT HIT LIST BY. There are 2 boxes, a pick list (left side) of possible sort criteria and a sort list (right side) of the selected sort criteria. In the right-side box, click on PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR to remove it. Then, in the left-side box, click ACTIVITY and then click PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR. The right-side box should look like this when you are through:
      Principal Investigator
    • Click the SEARCH ALL SCORES button at the top of the screen. The resulting HIT LIST will be sorted by Project Number (i.e., by grant number) and by PI within each group of grants.


Principal Investigator (PI)
To search for a PI by name, enter the first several letters of the name. For example, type Hau to search for Hausman. Naturally, the more complete the name, the more exact will be the search results.

Scientific Review Group (SRG)
Type the three- or four-character abbreviation of the SRG (e.g., BLR). Please contact the NLM staff listed below for additional guidance.

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 number further identifies an application serially.

Text Search
A text word search retrieves applications containing one or two search terms. The search is actually performed against the summary statement narrative and may take slightly longer to return the results. Submitting a search with an entry in the first box will find all summary statements containing that single word anywhere in the text. To enter two text words, select the correct Boolean logical operator (and, or, and not) by clicking on the arrow.

Priority Score/Percentile
The system sets a default priority score and percentile to focus on the applications being reviewed by the BOR. The default for the percentile is between 0 and 30 and for the priority score, between 100 and 250. These defaults can be deleted or changed. Highlight and delete the contents of these boxes or enter different numbers.


Summary Statements Released Since a Specified Date.
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 December 15, 2001, the entry would be 20011215 (yyyymmdd).

RFA/PA Number
NLM will provide BOR members with a list of RFA/PA numbers if needed.

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 NLM (LM). The number further identifies the application serially as the 5412th new proposal submitted to NLM, and indicates that this is the first supplemental application (S1) to the fourth year (-04) of support to this project.

Application TypeActivity CodeAdministering OrganizationSerial NumberGrant YearOther
3 R01 LM 5412 04 S1A1

Foreign applications are those applications from organizations outside the boundaries and territories of the United States. Under the Special Selects criteria, check the box 'Foreign Grants' to retrieve a list of summary statements of all foreign applications.

Direct Cost Recommended Greater Than a specified budget amount can be used to search for applications scored by the Initial Review Group. For example, entering 1000000 will retrieve a list of applications with budgets of one million dollars or more.


The ECB HIT LIST presents an HTML table of applications that meet your search criteria. Each application entry in the HIT LIST provides data relating to the PI, Institution, and review status of that application.

The HIT LIST pages also provide features for further processing of the applications contained in the HIT LIST. These features are detailed below:

Processing Individual Applications
In each HIT LIST entry the data items Project Number and Study Section serve as links to more detailed information on the application. Clicking on Project Number will retrieve and display the full Summary Statement for that application. Clicking on Study Section will retrieve and display the IRG Meeting Roster for that application.

Each HIT LIST entry also contains an email link that allows you to generate an email message to the Program Officer responsible for that application. Note that this feature only works if your browser is configured for email processing.

For a walk-through of the ECB by telephone, contact:

For other assistance with ECB, please contact: