Honest Broker


Honest Broker System at the College of Human Medicine

When student data is used in a research project, the College of Human Medicine utilizes an “honest broker” system to prioritize protection of students. Using an honest broker allows researchers to access regularly collected data across measures and cohorts in the MD program.

What do students need to know?

  • The primary objective of the honest broker is to protect the confidentiality of students.
  • The honest broker stands outside of research teams to protect the integrity of the process.
  • Researchers are unable to connect students’ names/identifiers with records.
  • If a student approaches the honest broker, study author or any other study team member with a concern or complaint about the study, HRPP will be notified immediately to assume management of the complaint.

What do researchers need to know?

  • The honest broker serves as an intermediary between the investigator and students. The honest broker process is required of faculty who plan to publish/present research that includes routinely generated student data such as those related to demographics, pre-matriculation measures, admissions process, progress exam scores, clerkship performance, honors, match, and graduate follow-up survey responses.
  • Data that is produced by college units for the MD program will only be provided to researchers through the honest broker. Units producing such data need to establish a timeline and structure for providing data to the honest broker.
  • An honest broker must be completely independent of the research team; they cannot serve as a co-investigator. The honest broker provides researchers with deidentified datasets but does not analyze data.
  • Researchers must submit an application to the IRB for their project even if using the honest broker system (as of January 2019).
  • Use the following link to request approval from Academic Affairs to use student data in your project:

    College of Human Medicine
    Student Data Request 

The College of Human Medicine provides honest broker services to Human Medicine investigators to provide maximum protection for students. To consult about a potential project, please contact Ann Schultz.