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Certificates of Confidentiality (CoC)

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Information Protected by a CoC 

Certificates of Confidentiality (Certificate or CoC) protect the privacy of research participants by prohibiting disclosure of identifiable, sensitive research information to anyone not connected to the research except when the participant consents or in a few other specific situations. Learn more about information that is protected by a CoC.

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Investigator and Institution CoC Responsibilities

Investigators and institutions have responsibilities associated with the CoC, including: 1) informing participants about the CoC, 2) not releasing participants identifiable, sensitive information except under limited circumstances, 3) upholding the CoC protections, and 4) informing investigators and institutions receiving a copy of protected information about the CoC protections. Learn more about investigator and institutional CoC responsibilities.

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CoCs for NIH-funded Research

Since 2017, NIH-funded research meeting specific criteria are automatically deemed to have a Certificate of Confidentiality. Learn more about CoCs for NIH-funded Research.

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CoCs for Research Not Funded by NIH

The NIH continues to consider requests for Certificates of Confidentiality for specific projects that are not funded by NIH but are considered to be within the NIH mission. Learn more about CoCs for Research Not Funded by NIH.

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CoC Policy Background Information 

Learn more about background information on the CoC policy .