Decedent Research


Research involving deceased individuals is not subject to prior review and approval by the University of Pittsburgh IRB unless the research also involves living individuals.  At the University of Pittsburgh, the Committee for Oversight in Research Involving Decedents (CORID), under the Office of Oversight of Anatomic Specimens, conducts reviews of projects that involve deceased individuals. UPMC polices address access to the PHI of deceased individuals.


A “Human Subject” is a living (emphasis added) individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research:

  1. Obtains information or biospecimens through intervention or interaction with the individual, and uses, studies, or analyzes the information or biospecimens; or
  2. Obtains, uses, studies, analyzes, or generates identifiable private information or identifiable biospecimens. [45 CFR 46.102(e)(1)]

If you are unsure whether your project requires IRB review, email us

Committee for Oversight of Research and Clinical Training Involving Decedents (CORID)

CORID is responsible for the review and approval of all proposed activities that require the use of human cadavers, anatomic specimens, cadaveric tissue, and decedent medical record/chart reviews.  Fetal tissue, however, falls under IRB jurisdiction.

  • Provides a mechanism for institutional oversight of proposed activities to evaluate whether they are within ethical and societal norms.
  • Follows a process which considers the scientific or clinical merit of each proposed study or training/educational activity.
  • Ensures that the appropriate consent was secured, either via body donation registration, autopsy authorization, or consent provided by next-of-kin or legal representative.

CORID Application and Approval – click the "CORID" link in the Tools section

Additional Information

UPMC policy HS-RS0004 Research and Clinical Training Involving Decedents

Office for Oversight of Anatomic Specimens (OOAS)

Committee for Oversight in Research Involving Decedents (CORID)

Health Sciences Research Informatics Office (medical record/chart review, R3)

v. 5/25/2021