Magnetic Resonance Research Facility

  • Submit New Proposal

    New Proposal Guidelines

    This page provides information about the hourly rate to perform MRI Research and also outlines the process for starting a new research project utilizing equipment managed by the MRI Research Facility.

    Scanner Rate

    Internal Customers

    The FY2015 internal scanner rate is $615/hour, and includes a technologist to run the scanner. Other supplies (e.g. contrast agents or any further manpower required) will incur additional fees. Scanner time is allocated in 30 minute increments, and is available Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 6:00pm. After-hours and weekend scanner time that requires a technologist is available as requested. Advance notice (preferably two weeks) is requested. Contact Greg Pickett for more information.

    External (e.g., private/industry) Customers

    The FY2015 external rate is $925/hour, and includes a technologist to run the scanner. Other supplies (e.g. contrast agents or any further manpower required) will incur additional fees.

    Off-peak Scanner Rate

    Off-peak scanning is available to both NIH and non-NIH facility users at a rate of $410/hour for FY2015. Because off-peak scanning does not include a technologist, the individual in charge of operating the scanner must complete the MRI Safe Scanning Program prior using the scanner. Information about this program can be found on our MRI Safety page. Off-peak hours are designated from 6:30pm to 7:30am, Monday through Friday, and all day Saturdays and Sundays. Contact Greg Pickett for more information about utilizing our after hours and weekend scanner rate.

    Budgeting for Research Scans

    Research scans at The University of Iowa are not considered patient care costs. Research MRI scans are considered "other costs" and are subject to Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs. An exception to this rule may include scans funded by an NIH contract whereby F&A costs are explicitly excluded. If you believe F&A should not be charged to your grant, consult with your departmental grant accountant.

    New Project Submission Resources

    Proposal Submission Guidelines

     Starting September 9th, the meetings will occur every other Monday from 9am to 10am. Proposals must be submitted by 5pm the Tuesday before the meeting.  The submission process is completely electronic and requires the submission of Microsoft Word or PDF files only. Projects to be considered need to perform the following steps:

    • Consult with a Research Committee Full Board Member. A link to the list of committee members can be found above.
    • Obtain a submission login and password by going to the MRI Research Login Request Page
    • Prepare a proposal application in Microsoft Word or PDF format. You will upload your typed proposal to your electronic submission. In your typed application, include:
      • Abstract (1/2 page)
      • Background and significance of your proposal(1/2 page)
      • Scanner and coils to be used. A list of available scanners and accompanying equipment can be found on our equipment page
      • Required sequences (e.g. DTI, T1, T2, BOLD, EPI, PEPSI)
      • Will sequence, coil or hardware development be required to implement the protocol?
      • Will image analysis be required?
      • Methods and approach (1 pages)
      • Data analysis (1/2 page)
      • If the proposal is currently unfunded, then provide information about potential funding sources, a plan, and timeline for seeking funding. Describe how this data will be helpful in acquiring funding (1/2 page).
      • References
    • Once you have received your proposal submission login information, log in and complete the electronic submission form. Have the following information available:
      • Primary Investigator contact information
      • Any additional project personnel
      • Status of funding, including an MFK (if available)
      • Status of IRB Submission. Researchers of human studies must provide a stamped copy of the IRB Informed Consent document prior to requesting scanner time.
    • Each research project proposal will be assigned to two members of the review committee. Ad-hoc members may be assigned to review proposals.

    Gadolinium Usage Guidelines

    The FDA released a new guidance on 9/9/2010 regarding the warnings and screening requirements for possible reduced kidney function and the use of gadolinium contrast for research studies http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm223966.htm?sms_ss=email. The MRI Research Center and IRB minimum recommendations for gadolinium usage are as follows:

    • Screen patients prior to administration of gadolinium-based contrast agents to identify those with acute kidney injury or chronic, severe, kidney disease. If an MRI with gadolinium is performed solely for research purposes, the IRB is likely to require that renal function be specially tested (e.g. serum creatinine) prior to the MRI, as many patients with reduced kidney function will be asymptomatic and not aware of their level of kidney function. The minimum allowable GFR measurement for all subjects receiving contrast is 60.
    • Use the clinical history to screen patients for features of acute kidney injury or risk factors for chronically reduced kidney function.
    • Monitor for signs and symptoms of Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis after gadolinium-based contrast agents are administered to a patient suspected or known to have impaired elimination of the drug.
    • Do not repeat administration of any gadolinium-based contrast agents during a single imaging session.
    • Advise subjects with kidney disease to contact a healthcare professional if any of the following symptoms occurs after receiving a gadolinium-based contrast agents: burning, itching, swelling, scaling, hardening and tightening of the skin; red or dark patches on the skin; stiffness in joints with trouble moving, bending or straightening the arms, hands, legs or feet; pain in the hip bones or ribs; or muscle weakness.
    • Record the specific gadolinium-based contrast agents and the dose administered to a patient.
    • When administering gadolinium-based contrast agents, do not exceed the recommended dose. Prior to any re-administration, allow sufficient time for elimination of the gadolinium-based contrast agents from the body.

    Review Criteria

    Once a project is submitted the following criteria will be used to determine the scientific ranking for the project:

    • Innovation
    • Feasibility of project
    • Funding status/likelihood of funding
    • Development required to implement project
    • Availability of personnel and equipment

    Approved/Ongoing Projects

    Once a scientific ranking has been determined, it will be translated into a priority for scan time allocation. This allocation will be assigned a project number that can be used to schedule time using the online scheduling system.

    Scan time priorities:

    • Standard Hours
    • After Hours/Weekends

    6-month project reports are required to keep a project active. These reports should include the following information:

    • Number of subjects studied
    • Status of data analysis
    • Papers submitted based on data
    • Grants submitted based on data
    • No accrual in 12 months may terminate a protocol
    • Scan priority reviewed at 6 month intervals

    Pilot Projects

    The MRI Research Center supports a limited number of pilot projects each year, totaling approximately 18% of research time utilization. Pilot projects are given a reduced scanner rate to facilitate data collection for inclusion in grant submissions. This time is typically given to projects that are currently unfunded and require "proof of concept" by means of MR images. To qualify for pilot time, a project must meet certain exclusionary conditions, including approval of pilot time by the MRI Research Advisory Committee. To find out about the possibility of obtaining pilot time for MR data collection, contact one of our full board members listed above.