Anatomical Material for Education & Research

Please read the information below regarding our policies for anatomical education & research. Links to downloadable (pdf) application forms for educational and research are located at the bottom of the page, as well as a downloadable version of the departmental policies.

Policies on the Use of Anatomical Material for Teaching and Research

These are the policies for access to donor bodies bequeathed to the Department of Cellular & Physiological Sciences at the University of British Columbia.

The donation of one’s body to the University of British Columbia is considered a unique bequest that an individual makes at their time of death. It is a generous decision, made to further education and research in our community. Under no circumstances can this gift be commercialized either directly or indirectly. The bodies gifted to UBC are made available to further research and teaching activities within the faculty. There is an internal charge to the unit requesting access on a cost-recovery basis to ensure the viability of the Body Donation Program.

Universal Precautions
Infectious diseases are a potential threat for everyone involved in the handling and preparation of human remains. Although the Department has adopted policies to reduce risk wherever possible, it is important to note there is still the potential for contact with infectious diseases and appropriate precautions should be taken before handling the donor bodies.

Workshops and research projects that request access to donated bodies must be affiliated with, and run by, a UBC Department or by UBC Continuing Professional Development on behalf of a UBC unit. Applications that do not fulfill this criterion will be rejected.

The number of donor bodies we receive at any given time is highly variable. We recommend that you plan ahead and submit your application at least one year, and no less than six months in advance of your anticipated need. Since the number of donations varies from year to year, we may not be able to meet your request in whole or in part.

Your request must fall under one of these two scenarios:

  • You wish to use donor bodies provided by the Department onsite in the Department of Cellular & Physiological Sciences. To coordinate your request with scheduled classes we strongly suggest that you file an application no less than one year in advance.
  • You wish to use donor bodies provided by the Department offsite at one of the following locations: Vancouver General Hospital Simulation Centre, Centre for Hip Health and Mobility and Jack Bell.

The Department insists that the donor bodies are handled in a dignified manner and are treated with respect, and in the spirit in which they were donated. The donors’ remains must be returned to the Department for disposal in accordance with the donation grant. Timing of the return will be  determined in discussion with the Program Manager.

Please note the following:

  • All donor bodies must be returned to the Department of Cellular & Physiological Sciences within 6 months for cremation.
  • Any requests to use space in the Department of Cellular & Physiological Sciences must be made one year in advance, to provide adequate time to schedule around the undergraduate medical course and other courses held in the Department.


BDP Research (updated April 2021)

BDP Surgery Education (updated February 2023)

Please complete the appropriate application form fully and return it via:

FAX: (604) 827-4209


MAIL:  Anatomical Committee

Dept of Cellular & Physiological Sciences

2350 Health Sciences Mall

University of British Columbia

Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3