Changes to NIH Policy for Issuing Certificates of Confidentiality (CoC)

You are here

In an effort to increase privacy protections for research participants, as of October 1, 2017, researchers who are collecting identifiable, sensitive information as part of their NIH-funded research will automatically be issued a Certificate of Confidentiality (CoC) as part of the terms and conditions of the award. Researchers conducting NIH-funded research qualifiying for a CoC will no longer need to separately apply for a CoC. Compliance with the privacy protections afforded by the CoC is also a term and condition of the award. All research that was commenced or ongoing on or after December 13, 2016 and is within the scope of this NIH policy was issued a certificate.

Non-NIH funded research that collects identifiable, sensitive information can request a certificate using the Online Certificate of Confidentiality system. Note: the system and process for requesting a CoC was updated and simplified in 2020. The new CoC system requires direct submission by the authorized institutional official, rather than by the investigator or another research team member.

More information is available in the following NIH notice.

Please contact the Research Integrity office with questions.