ECOS Application Help

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Author: Jeremy Bradley/Christina Lydick

CID Version: 1.6

Manual Revision: 1.6.1

1. Logging into CID

ECOS Login

To log into CID, first log into the ECOS Secure Homepage at:

https://ecos.fws.gov  (note that it is https for secure)

After logging in, on the ECOS home page look under the Secure Applications list for a link to CID (direct links to All Investigations and Current Year Proposals are also available). Click on this link to go to the CID Homepage.

Can't find the CID link?

 If you do not see CID under the Secure Applications list, then you need to request access to it. For instructions on how to do this, see 2. Requesting Access to CID.

CID Homepage

Once you are at the CID Homepage, you must then select your office type from the menu on the left hand side of the screen. You will only be able to click on an office type that is consistent with your CID access level. See 2. Requesting Access to CID.

2. Requesting Access to CID

To request access to CID, first login to the ECOS Secure Homepage at: https://ecos.fws.gov

Then, click on Request Access under the menu bar on the left side of the screen. Find CID on this list, and choose an access level from the drop down list in the Grant Access column. Choose an access level according to your office type.

Office Type

Grant Access choice

Field Office Personnel

CID Field Office User

Regional Office Personnel

CID Regional Office User

National Reviewer Personnel

CID National Reviewer User

WashingtonOffice Personnel

CID Washington Office User

Once you have selected an Access Request, click on the "Submit Request" button at the bottom of the page. Your CID access request will be sent in for approval. Once your request has been approved, you will have access to CID, and CID will show up under the Secure Applications list on the ECOS home page.

3. Getting Help

Context Help

At any point, you can access help related to what you are currently doing by clicking on the Context Help link near the top right of any CID page:

Clicking on Context Help will display a help screen on the right-hand side of your screen. This help screen contains brief information intended to help you in using CID without having to refer to this manual. When you are done with the context help, click on the Close Help link at the top right of the context help area.

Requesting Help

If you need further help, you can contact ECOS by clicking on the Help Desk button at the top right hand corner of your screen:

Clicking on Help Desk opens a screen with a simple form to fill out. Most of the information, such as your name and phone number, are already filled out (this information is based on what you have in your ECOS profile). Just fill in a subject, a detailed description of your problem or question, and select CID as the Application. Then, click on submit at the bottom of the page to send your help request to ECOS.

4. Investigation Lists

To see a list of investigations (ongoing and new proposals), click on one of the links under Browse Investigations on the left hand side of the screen. Each of the links displays a list of proposals or ongoing investigations, and includes their Title, Lead Principal Investigator (PI), and Initial Fiscal Year. To view or edit an existing proposal or ongoing investigation, click on its title. You can sort a list by clicking on a column name.

The lists display different proposals depending on the status of those proposals:

  • All Investigations: This page contains a list of all investigation records in CID, including new proposals, ongoing investigations, unaccepted proposals from previous fiscal years, defunct or expired investigations, etc. This list will only include investigations that you are associated with as a lead PI or an “other” PI.
  • 20xx Proposals: This page contains a list of new proposals, those that have a status of New and with the upcoming fiscal year as the initial fiscal year of the upcoming submission cycle (e.g., currently FY 2010; see screen shot below).
  • Ongoing Investigations: This page contains a list of ongoing investigations, those with a status of Ongoing, that are available for update and/or re-submission.
  • Unaccepted Proposals: This page contains a list of new proposals that were submitted in a previous fiscal year and were not accepted/approved for funding.  These unaccepted proposals can be selected, updated, and submitted again in the upcoming submission cycle as a new proposal (i.e., a re-submitted new proposal).
  • Other: This page contains a list of proposals that have been completed, discontinued, expired, or withdrawn from consideration.

5. Creating a New Proposal

Creating a new proposal is done in several steps. Once you have completed the first step, you can come back anytime to finish the rest of the proposal creation process. See D. Investigation Lists for details on finding a new proposal that has already been created or entered into CID. To create a new proposal for the first time, first click on the Create Investigation link under Manage Investigations on the left hand side of your screen. This will start the proposal creation process.

Step 1: Details

The first step of the proposal creation process is to add the basic details of the proposal. When you click on Create Investigation you will be presented with a form to fill out these details.

The fields are:

  • Title: Enter the proposal's full title in this field.
  • Short Title: Enter a short title for the proposal that is 60 characters (including spaces) or less. The short title is used when displaying the proposal in reports and in the different Investigation Lists (under Browse Investigations).
  • Lead Principal Investigator (PI): Your name and email address are automatically filled in here. If you are not the Lead PI, then change this information. However, the person you enter here must be an ECOS user.
  • Other PI(s): If there is more than one PI involved, additional PIs may be associated with the proposal by entering their name and email here.
  • Initial Fiscal Year: Select the proposal's initial fiscal year (the year the proposed investigation would begin) from the drop down list. This field defaults to the current fiscal year for the upcoming investigation submission cycle.
  • Duration: Select the proposal's duration from the drop down box.
  • Investigation Type: Select the proposal's investigation type by clicking on the Off-Refuge or On-Refuge check boxes. A proposal can be either On-Refuge, Off-Refuge or both.
  • On-Refuge Status: Select the proposal's on refuge status with the On-Refuge Proposal Status drop down box. For new proposals, you will select “New” as the status. This drop down list is only active if you select On-refuge in Investigation Type.
  • Off-Refuge Status: Select the proposal's off refuge status with the Off-Refuge Proposal Status drop down box. For new proposals, you will select “New” as the status. This drop down list is only active if you select Off-refuge in Investigation Type.
  • NRDAR Related: Select “Yes” if this proposal has the potential to lead to an NRDAR or is being conducted in support of a NRDAR. Otherwise, select “No.”
  • Litigation Sensitive: Select “Yes” if any part of this proposed investigation is litigation sensitive. Otherwise, select “No.”
  • RO Can Edit: Select “Yes” if you give permission to your Regional Office EC Coordinator to make modifications to information in CID associated with your proposal (e.g., location and budget information) and/or to upload revised/edited versions of the proposal document (or interim report for ongoing investigations). If you do not want to allow your RO EC Coordinator these permissions, then select “No.”  Note that selecting “no” will force your EC Coordinator to reject a new proposal (or ongoing investigation) back to you, the FO, in order for any changes or modifications to be made. You, as the FO, will then have to make any requested changes or modifications and then re-submit the new proposal (or ongoing investigation) to the RO again.

When you are finished filling out this information, click on the Save button at the bottom. If you have made any errors such as not filling in a required field, you will be notified and given an opportunity to correct your error. You must correct any error(s) before you can successfully create the new proposal. Once you have completed this step, you can come back at any time to finish the rest of the proposal creation process.

Step 2: Location

The next step of the proposal creation process is to define the location of the proposed investigation. To do this, first click on the Location tab near the top center of your screen. Then, click on the Change Location Information link in the bottom right corner.

Defining the location is a two-step process:

Step 2a. State/Territory and County Selection Form

The first step (2a) is to select the State/Territory and Counties where the proposed investigation is located. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Select a state or territory from the U.S. States and Territories list. Select multiple entries by holding down the control key on your keyboard, and clicking on the state names. 
  2. Once you have selected a state(s) or territory, the U.S. Counties window on the right will automatically populate with a list of all counties from the state(s) (and/or territories) you selected previously. Select the appropriate counties from the U.S. Counties list. If the investigation is statewide, select the Statewide entry.
  3. Click on the Update Current Location button in the lower right corner to go to the next step.

Step 2b. Congressional District and Refuge Form

The second step (2b) is to select the Congressional Districts and/or refuges where the proposed investigation is located. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Select applicable congressional districts from the Congressional Districts list, and Refuges from the Refuges list. To select multiple districts or refuges, hold down the <CTRL> key on your keyboard, and click on the items.

     

    Important!

    If you selected an Investigation Type of On-Refuge, you must select at least one refuge.

  • Click on Update Current Refuge/Congressional District Associations button at the lower right to finish. 

Once you are done, a list of all your selections will be displayed for your review. Note: you will have to search outside of ECOS on the internet if you do not know what Congressional District(s) are included or encompassed by your proposed investigation.         

Step 3: Documents

The next step in creating a proposal is to upload documents associated with the proposal. To do this, click on the Documents tab. This will display a screen showing all the document types that are requested.

After you have uploaded a document, it will be displayed on this screen. Each document has the following properties shown on this screen:

  • Document Type: The type (e.g., Proposal, Letter of Support, etc.) of the document, as selected when the document was uploaded.
  • Document Title: The title of the document, as provided by you when the document was uploaded. You can edit this document title entry by clicking on the “Edit Description” link. You can download the document by clicking on the “Download” link.
  • Uploaded By: The name (or code) of the person who uploaded the document.
  • Date: The date the document was uploaded.
  • Show Inactive Documents (link, bottom left): Clicking this link will show documents that have been uploaded previously and were identified as inactive documents. Documents are declared inactive for various reasons – generally, to designate that the file is to be deleted, disregarded, and not used (CID does not allow you to actually delete an uploaded document). Note: A document that is inactive cannot be downloaded.

Uploading Documents

To upload a document, click on the Upload New Document button (from the Documents tab in CID, shown above). This will take you to the “Upload Document” page (next screen shot).

Fill out the requested information (see below for definitions of the fields), and click "Upload Document" to upload the document. If you have made any errors such as not filling in a required field, you will be notified and given an opportunity to correct your error. You must correct any error before you can finish uploading the document.

Important!

Once you click Upload Document, it may take a while for your document to be sent, especially if you are on a slow connection. Please be patient!

Required Document Properties

There are several required properties:Required Document Properties

  • File: The filename (including location on your computer) of the file you want to upload. You can either enter the filename and location path manually, or choose it by clicking on the Browse... button and locating the file you want.
  • File Type: The type of the file you want to upload, such as the Proposal Document, Signature Pages, etc.
  • Title Of File: A title for the file. Note: it is helpful to put the fiscal year in the file title for some documents, particularly documents for interim reports and signature pages as, over the life of the investigation, you will be uploading these types of documents multiple times. For example, “FY10 Interim Report 9F54” as the title.

Optional Document Properties

There are also several optional properties that, if you input them, will aid in searching for this document from external sources. These properties are:

  • Publication Date: The publication date (if applicable) for this document. The date must be entered in the form: DD-MM-YYYY. For example, 11-03-2006 for March 11, 2006.
  • First Fiscal Year: The first fiscal year of the proposal that this document is relevant for.
  • Last Fiscal Year: The last fiscal year of the proposal that this document is relevant for.
  • Executive Summary: An executive summary for the document. Please be sure to provide an executive summary with the final report document. In the future, we hope to add a function in CID to search documents and this executive summary information will probably be the text that is searched (along with the keywords). It may not be possible to search within the actual uploaded document, making this executive summary even more important.
  • Keywords: Search terms for this document. Please be sure to provide keywords for the original proposal document, the final report document, and any published report documents. This will allow us to search based on keywords when we add the search function to CID in the future.

Step 4: Budget

The next step in the proposal creation process is to fill out the budget(s) for the proposal. To do this, click on the On-Refuge Budget (or Off-Refuge Budget) tab near the top center of your screen.

On and Off Refuge Reminder

Since a proposal can have both an on- and an off-refuge component, there are two budget pages you have to complete if the proposal has both components. When this manual refers to the Budget tab, it is referring to both. If a proposal does not have both components, two tabs will still appear, but only one will work (the one that works will appear in blue font). 

Adding Budget Entries

To add an entry, enter a name or description in the Label column on the left. 

Important!

If you do not enter a name or description for a budget item, your entry will not be saved!

Then, enter the actual or anticipated budget values into the columns labeled with the fiscal years. At any point, you can click on the Save and Calculate button at the bottom right corner of the page to save your progress and calculate the totals at the bottom of the page.

Important!

Even though CID has a budget section called “Indirect Expenses – Overheads,” please remember that, effective with FY10 submissions, On-Refuge Investigations (both ongoing investigations and new proposals) cannot claim “overhead costs” as an acceptable expense. Per the guidance in the NWRS Budget Allocation Handbook, these costs should be itemized as to the actual types of expenses that they are (e.g., Regional Office personnel salary, Regional Office travel, Field Office Administrative personnel salary, etc).

Removing Budget Entries

To remove an entry, simply delete the name/description in the label column (first column). When you click on the Save and Calculate button, the entry and the values associated with it will be removed.Removing Budget Entries

Important!

Please note that the CID (and ECOS) system will time-out after 15 minutes of inactivity. “Activity” is registered by the system as any action that causes the CID and browser page to refresh. Examples of these actions include clicking on an “Update,” “Save,” “Save and Calculate,” “Cancel,” and “Reset” buttons; refreshing your browser; or navigating to a different tab in CID (Details, Location, Documents, etc tabs). Note: simple typing (such as entering data into budget columns) does NOT count as activity. Please click on the Save and Calculate button at least every 10-12 minutes to ensure that you do not loose the data you have entered.

Totals

There are several calculated totals on the form; these are indicated by blue bordered cells [Don't see blue-bordered cells per se. Another way to say this?]. Row totals are calculated as you enter values. The totals at the bottom of the page are triggered by clicking on the Save and Calculate button at the bottom right corner of the page. 

Step 5: Pass/Fail Criteria

The next step in the proposal creation process is to evaluate whether or not the proposal meets the specified pass/fail criteria. To do this, click on the Pass/Fail Criteria tab near the top center of your screen. This will display the pass/fail criteria page.

Criteria Definitions

  • Identify Environmental Problem: This criterion is to determine if the proposal clearly identifies an environmental problem related to anthropogenic contaminants and the management actions designed to resolve that problem. 
  • Identify Biologic Impact: This criterion is to determine if the level of biological impact is clearly identified in the proposal. It is also used to determine if any abiotic only sampling is clearly linked to an established threshold level of concern. 
  • Signed Peer Review: This criterion is to determine if a substantive peer review has been conducted. You can change this item's Completed status only if a Signed Peer Review has been uploaded (See Step 3: Documents)
  • Surname: This criterion is to determine if signature pages have been completed properly. You can change this item's Completed status only if a Signature Page has been uploaded (See Step 3: Documents)

Changing an Item's Status

To update a Pass/Fail Item, select "Yes" or "No" in the Completed? column. Optionally, notes regarding each checklist item may be entered in the Notes column.

When you are satisfied with your changes, click on Save (button in lower right corner) to save your changes.

Document-Related Items

With the pass/fail criteria items Signed Peer Review and Surname, the Yes or No field is not available until the associated documents are uploaded. Once the appropriate document is uploaded, the Yes or No Field will appear. Whether or not the document is uploaded is indicated below the Pass/Fail Item name.

Step 6: Scoring

The final step in the proposal creation process is to score the proposal. To do this, first click on the Scoring tab.

On and Off Refuge Reminder

Since a proposal can have both an on and an off refuge component, there are two scoring pages you have to complete if the proposal has both components. When this manual refers to the Scoring tab, it is referring to both. If a proposal does not have both components, two tabs will still appear, but only one will work.

Field Descriptions

  • Criteria: A specific scoring criteria.
  • Regional Score and National Score: Location where these respective scores will appear (once they have been entered) for the field office/author to see.
  • Selection: A drop down list with the possible criterion assessment. The item selected from this determines what score is assigned to the criterion.
  • Office Score:Depending on your office, one or more of the following will appear:
    • Field Office Score: The score given by the field office.
    • Regional Office Score: The score given by the regional office.
    • National Office Score: The score given by the national reviewer.
    • Notes:This is where you should provide information regarding what sections of the Proposal Document contains information related to the criteria being scored. Additionally, this area is where the Regional Office and/or National Reviewer can note any concerns, comments, or explanations of scoring differences. 

Note

It is important that you note where in your proposal document (section, page, etc.) that information related to each of the scoring criteria can be found. This will help reviewers score your proposal.

Criteria Definitions

(Please refer to latest Investigations Manual for full definition and supplemental  information)

  • Threat: Threats to resources are DOCUMENTED (20 pts) or SUSPECTED (15 pts).Criteria Definitions (Please refer to latest Investigations Manual for full definition and supplemental  information)

  • Management: Management actions are DIRECT (15 pts) or INDIRECT (10 pts).
  • Hypothesis: The study question(s) or hypotheses being addressed by the investigation are CLEAR (clearly stated) (4 pts) or are NOT CLEAR (0 pts) (not clearly stated).
  • Study: The study design as described in the proposal is APPROPRIATE (will answer the study question(s)/hypotheses) (4) or INAPPROPRIATE (0 PTS) (will not answer the study question(s)/hypotheses).
  • Complexity: The scope or complexity of impacts being addressed by the investigation is APPROPRIATE (4 pts) or is NOT APPROPRIATE (0 pts).
  • Impact: The most severe type of biological impact addressed by the investigation is an INDICATOR OF ADVERSE EFFECTS (4 pts) or ACTUAL ADVERSE EFFECTS (7 pts).
  • Source: Source of the contaminant is sufficiently ADDRESSED (3 pts) or is NOT sufficiently ADDRESSED (0 pts).
  • Pathway: Pathway of the contaminant is ADDRESSED (3 pts) or is NOT sufficiently ADDRESSED (0 pts).
  • Partner: The Partner Contribution criterion is automatically calculated based on the percentage of the proposal's budget that is contributed by partners. This percentage and score will fluctuate as changes are made to the budget.
  • GCC - Species: The investigation DOES (1 pt) or DOES NOT (0 pts) address species vulnerable to global climate change (GCC).
  • GCC - Chemical: The investigation DOES (2 pts) or DOES NOT (0 pts) examine a chemical that is contributing to GCC or is impacted by GCC.
  • GCC - Habitat: The investigation DOES (1 pt) or DOES NOT (0 pts) address habitats and/or migration corridors vulnerable to GCC.
  • GCC - Mechanisms: The investigation DOES (1 pt) or DOES NOT (0 pts) examine primary GCC mechanisms which will affect Service trust resources.

Choosing a Score

To score a proposal for a particular criterion, select an option from the Selection column. A score is assigned to that criterion based on the selection, and that value is reflected in the Office Score column for your office type.

When you are satisfied with your changes, click on the Save button to save your changes.

6. Editing an Existing Proposal or Re-submitting Proposals

To edit an existing proposal, you first must locate the proposal you want to edit. To do this, see D. Investigation Lists for instructions on finding a proposal. Editing an existing proposal is similar to the proposal creation process described in E. Creating a New Proposal.

7. Updating and Re-submitting Proposals from Previous Years

Unapproved proposals from previous fiscal years can be selected, updated, and re-submitted as a new proposal for the upcoming fiscal year and investigation proposal cycle. Please do not create a new proposal record in CID (i.e., do not start the proposal creation process from scratch) when you are re-submitting a previously unapproved proposal. You can simply select the proposal from last year (from the unaccepted proposals list), update its files and pertinent information (budget, scoring, etc), and re-submit the proposal.

8. Submitting a Proposal to the Regional Office

When you have completed the proposal, you can submit it to the Regional Office. To submit a proposal, click on Submit Investigations (in the left column, under Manage Investigations). Select the proposal(s) you want to submit (there should be a box that you can select to place a check mark in it) and then click on the Submit button at the bottom right corner of the page. If any of the Pass/Fail Criteria have not been met, a proposal cannot be submitted.

Note

Creating a proposal and uploading documents does NOT actually submit the proposal. A proposal is only submitted through the process described above.

Important!

Once a proposal has been submitted, it can no longer be edited unless the Regional Office returns it to you or you have given the Regional EC Coordinator permission to edit the proposal!  Make sure you are satisfied with the proposal before submitting it to the Regional Office!

9. Updating and Submitting Ongoing Investigations

Ongoing investigations must be re-submitted annually until they are complete (and have submitted a final report). To update an ongoing investigation with the pertinent files (such as the interim report or final report), you must first locate the ongoing investigation. To do this, see D. Investigation Lists for instructions on finding an investigation. When updating an ongoing investigation, you should only have to worry about uploading documents and, if necessary, updating your budget information. For instructions on how to do these steps, see pertinent instructions from the proposal creation process E. Creating a New Proposal.

When you have finished updating the files and budget information for your ongoing investigation, you can submit it to the Regional Office. To submit an ongoing investigation, click on Submit Investigations (in the left column, under Manage Investigations). Select the ongoing investigation(s) you want to submit (there should be a box that you can select to place a check mark in it) and then click on the Submit button at the bottom right corner of the page. 

Note

Uploading documents to your ongoing investigation record in CID does NOT actually submit the investigation to the RO. An ongoing investigation is only submitted through the process described above.

 


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