Certificates of Confidentiality Kiosk

Certificates of Confidentiality are an important tool to protect the privacy of research study participants (see NIH Guide Notice 03/15/2002). This Kiosk web site provides information about Certificates of Confidentiality for those involved with the conduct of sensitive biomedical, behavioral, clinical or other types of research, including investigators, IRB members, and Institutional Officials.

Certificates of Confidentiality are issued by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to protect identifiable research information from forced disclosure. They allow the investigator and others who have access to research records to refuse to disclose identifying information on research participants in any civil, criminal, administrative, legislative, or other proceeding, whether at the federal, state, or local level. By protecting researchers and institutions from being compelled to disclose information that would identify research subjects, Certificates of Confidentiality help achieve the research objectives and promote participation in studies by helping assure confidentiality and privacy to participants.

Are you new to the Certificate process and are not sure where to start? If, so, please use this FLOW CHART

CERTIFICATE OF CONFIDENTIALITY ON-LINE APPLICATION UPDATE: Starting in APRIL 2015, NIH will launch an on–line application system for all those requesting a Certificate from NIH. The new system will feature a number of enhancements such as the ability to save drafts prior to submission. The actual launch date will be posted here as soon as it is set, so please check back. Once the new system is launched, all requests for Certificates to NIH will be done through the new system.

Until we launch our new system, Certificate requestors should continue to submit to the NIH Institutes/Centers either electronically or via email/regular mail as noted on the Contacts List: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/coc/contacts.htm

Certificates of Confidentiality Information:

  • Link to FAQs   Frequently Asked Questions - Listing of Frequently Asked Questions on Certificates of Confidentiality that will be updated as new questions are received. Please check back periodically for new questions and answers.

  • FLOW CHART – to determine eligibility for a Certificate and appropriate contacts
  • Key information for Investigators, Institutional Officials, and IRB members
  • Contacts List - NIH staff who you can contact for additional information. Also lists contacts at other HHS agencies that issue Certificates.
  • NIH Guide Notice (03/15/2002) - NIH Announces Statement on Certificates of Confidentiality. 
  • Background Information (07/21/2003) - Detailed Background Information on Certificates of Confidentiality.
  • Extramural Projects - Application Instructions (03/15/2002) - Detailed Application Instructions for Certificate of Confidentiality for research conducted by investigators outside of NIH.
  • Intramural Projects - Application Instructions (03/15/2002) - Detailed Application Instructions for Certificate of Confidentiality for research conducted by NIH staff investigators.
  • Slide Presentation (05/03/2002) - Slide presentation on Certificates of Confidentiality, in HTML and PowerPoint formats.