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Certificates of Confidentiality

U-M Certificate of Confidentiality Policy

HRPP Operations Manual, Part 11, Section III B.6

U-M Requirements

  1. Print the application, IRB approval letter, IRB approved consent documents.
  2. Use the appropriate Letter of Assurances template and print on your U-M departmental letterhead. 
  3. Include the U-M Federalwide Assurance number:  #00004969
  4. List U-M's Deputy Institutional Official as the designated signator:

James A. Ashton-Miller, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President -
Research Policy and Compliance
University of Michigan
4080 Fleming Building
503 Thompson Street
Ann Arbor, MI  48109-1340

Certificate of Confidentiality (CoC) is issued to protect the privacy of research subjects by allowing investigators and institutions to avoid compulsory release of information that could be used to identify subjects with a research project (i.e., any information that could lead directly or indirectly to identification of a research subject).  

CoCs are issued by the:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) by institutes under their purview
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for studies that obtain an Investigational New Drug (IND) authorization or other FDA authorization

    Certificate of Confidentiality Process

    Note:  Effective April 14, 2015, the NIH changed the CoC application process.

    All applications must now be submitted using the NIH online application system.

    1.  Compile the application materials for submission to UMOR:

    • Copy of the online CoC Application: completed per agency-specific instructions (see links below)
    • Letter of Assurances: (use the UMOR Letter of Assurances-Non-Student Researcher or Letter of Assurances-Student Researcher template)
    • A copy of the IRB Approval or Contingent Approval letter: (if contingent approval was issued, obtaining the CoC must be the only remaining contingency to be met)
    • IRB-reviewed and approved informed consent/assent documentation (if contingent approval was issued, the documentation will not display the approval watermark)

    2.  Obtain ​approval from U-M's designated signator:

    Combine the application materials into a single PDF document and email it to the University of Michigan Office of Research (UMOR) at  Include your campus mailing address in the email. You will receive a confirmatory email for receipt of your materials.  Once the letter of assurance has been signed, you will receive a PDF version via email and a hard copy will be sent to your campus mailing address. 

    Each agency has their own application process and set of submission instructions.  For additional information, please see:


    Contact the following for questions regarding Certificates of Confidentiality:

    For IRB-HSBS studies:

    Mary Ramirez
    Assistant Director IRB-HSBS
    (734) 615-9464 

    For IRBMED studies:

    Faith Penix
    IRBMED Relations Coordinator
    (734) 647-4261