UW Research

November 14, 2017

NIH Funding and Certificates of Confidentiality

Links updated 10/27/2022

The new NIH Certificate of Confidentiality policy  automatically issues a CoC to all active NIH funded human subjects research.

Use the CoC decision tree for additional guidance to determine if your NIH research is affected by this policy as well as guidance on sharing CoC protected information.

CoC Decision Tree: Is my NIH research subject to a CoC?

Principal Investigator (PI) CoC Responsibilities

CoCs are an important privacy protection for identifiable subject data. They protect identifiable subject information against subpoena, public records requests, and other legal proceedings.

Important points about certificates:

  • Permanent protection. The data collected while your NIH funding is active is permanently protected, even after your funding has ended and your study has been completed.
  • Protection is tied to your funding. Any data collected after your NIH funding ends is not protected unless you apply to extend the CoC past your funding expiration date.
  • Consent requirement. Subjects must be informed about the CoC.
  • Researcher responsibilities. PIs are responsible for complying with the terms of the CoC.

The NIH CoC Kiosk also provides extensive information.

Researchers without NIH funding may submit an application to NIH for a CoC.