Donating your body to the University for Teaching and Research

Why donate your body to science?

The generous act of body donation is central to the provision of practical opportunities to study the human body in the educational environment. Many people have heard the phrase 'donating your body to science' but few people really understand that it is about giving a ‘gift of knowledge’.

Even in these days of sophisticated computer technology there is still no replacement for the direct, practical teaching of human anatomy. Health professionals can only be fully trained through the generosity of those people who donate their body to The University of Sydney's Body Bequest Program.

The University and the Health Professionals of tomorrow depend on this vital and highly personal gift.By helping to train health professionals you'll be doing a great service for the community. People who need expert treatment in years to come will benefit from your gift.

The University of Sydney ensures total confidentiality throughout the entire body donation process. Personal details acquired are used only for the assessment of donor acceptability, and for the purpose of fulfilling legislative responsibilities such as providing information to the Registry of Births deaths and Marriages.

What kind of person donates their body to Medical Science?

People from all walks of life generously give the 'gift of knowledge' by donating their body. Many health professionals contribute to the Program as they are aware of its value and the great opportunity it provides for teaching human anatomy.

Conditions of acceptance

Anyone over the age of 18 may donate their body. We accept bequests from the Sydney Metropolitan area only. The following conditions could prevent acceptance of a body at the time of death.

  • Donor can not be transferred to our School of Anatomy within 48-72 hours of death
  • Donor has transmissible disease
  • Donor has unhealed surgical wounds
  • Organ donation at the time of death
  • Donor has undergone or will require an autopsy
  • Donor is obese
  • Donor has been significantly altered by certain medical conditions including amputation


  • Body storage limitations

This should not deter anyone from going ahead with donating their body. At the time of your passing qualified medical staff will determine the suitability of your remains for teaching purposes. If the university is unable to accept your body, it will stay with your next of kin or other loved ones.

How the Body Bequest Program works

  • Contact the Discipline of Biomedical Science by phone or email and we will send you a consent form and more detailed information regarding our Bequest Program. Sign and return the consent form and we will send you a letter of acknowledgement to notify you that you have been registered as a donor.
  • When you pass away the University will be notified by your nominated next of kin or nursing/medical staff.
  • Your family and friends can still hold a memorial service however the university would need to receive the body within 48-72 hours of death.
  • At the conclusion of the teaching process your remains will be respectfully cremated at the University's expense.
  • According to the wishes of the donor at the time of consenting, the ashes will either then be made available to the next of kin or scattered in the gardens of the crematorium.

Address and Contact details:


Body Bequest Program
Discipline of Biomedical Science
Sydney Medical School
The University of Sydney
PO Box 170
Lidcombe NSW 1825


 +61 2 935 19457 (office)

+61 2 935 19221 (lab)