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Step 2: Identify the NIH Institute/Center for your Application  

At NIH, Certificates of Confidentiality (CoCs) are issued by 24 of the NIH Institutes/Centers (ICs). CoC requests for studies funded by NIH should be made to the funding IC. Requests for studies not funded by NIH are made to the IC that supports similar research. Note that, to be eligible for a CoC, the topic of the research project must be health related.

Which NIH IC is the most appropriate to consider my CoC request?

  • For a list of the NIH ICs with a brief summary of their research mission, click here
  • The appropriate IC is determined by the main focus of the study. For example, a request for a CoC for a study on cancer that includes a few questions on illegal drug use should be sent to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
  • NIH IC’s for Common Research Topics:
    TopicWhere to Apply
    Child health issues (including adolescents and teens), or issues related to pregnancy or reproductive healthApply to the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development
    Mental health conditions or treatmentsApply to the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH)
    Substance abuseApply to the national Institue on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
    Alcohol abuseApply to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
    Health issues of older adultsApply to the National Institute on Aging (NIA)
    Cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatmentApply to the National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • View all the NIH IC Coc Coordinators
  • Still not sure which IC is correct? Contact the NIH CoC Coordinator ( for guidance.
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