Resources for Working with MRI

Information for Investigators and study team personnel


General Safety Review

Depending on the design of the research study being proposed, the investigator may need to have the submission approved by more than one safety committee. For more information the investigator may contact the Office of Research at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

MRI Safety Review

Answers to frequently asked questions are below. If you need more assistance contact

Glossary of Terms

A brief glossary of terms applied in research using MRI at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Introduction to MRI Safety Training

The first portion of the training and a basic resource (PDF) for MRI safety.

Standard Operating Procedures

The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are reviewed and revised as needed.

Related Links to MRI Safety

National and International Sources

International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Society for MR Radiographers and Technologists MR Safety Resources Page (Safety Website managed by Frank Shellock, PhD)

ACR (American College of Radiology) Guidance Document on MR Safety Practices: 2013 (PDF)

Medical College of Wisconsin Sources

Department of Biophysics

Center for Imaging Research

Office of Research at the Medical College of Wisconsin

Office of Technology Development (OTD)

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  What is the procedure for conducting human subject research using MRI?

The process for conducting human subject research using MRI involves several steps.

  How do I obtain permission to use Medical College of Wisconsin MRI Scanners?

You must apply through the Center for Imaging Research to obtain permission.

  How do I obtain permission to use MRI scanners at Froedtert, Children's or other affiliated institutions?

You must contact the institution where you are proposing to use the MRI scanner.

FH: Office of Clinical Research and Innovative Care Compliance (OCRICC) (414) 805-4082

CHW: Office of Corporate Compliance Children's Hospital and Health System
(CHHS) Diane Bauer at (414) 266-6237 or

  What MRI Safety Committee approvals do I need?

MRI Safety Committee approval is required prior to IRB (human studies) or IACUC (animal studies) approval.

MRI Research Using Human Subjects (DOCX)

MRI Research Using Animals (DOCX)

Assistance is available via email:

Approval is also needed from the Center for Imaging Research if the Medical College of Wisconsin scanners are requested.

  Can you explain the process for MRI Safety approval?

The MRI Safety review and approval process has been charted for your reference.

  What can I do to streamline the approval process?

Investigators and study team members working with the Medical College of Wisconsin MRI scanners for research must complete MRI Safety Training.

Applications for research must be submitted to the IRB (Human subjects) or the IACUC (Animal Subjects) and the appropriate MRI Research form completed.

Approval for use of the Medical College of Wisconsin scanners in the FH Pavilion and or the MFRC building is required from the Center for Imaging Research.

Approval for use of Froedtert, Children's or other affiliated MRI scanners must be obtained from those institutions.

  Is research monitored following approval?

Research is monitored for safety at each MRI study session using the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) scanners, by the MRI Scanner Operators.

The MRI Scanner Operators have the authority to stop a study session if they deem there is a significant safety risk to continue.

Research is additionally monitored as needed by the MRI Safety Committee, whose mission is to foster an environment for the safe use of MRI in research at MCW. This includes ensuring properly trained personnel are on site, equipment is being operated safely, and that subjects are adequately screened for safety.

  What can I do to prevent problems in the laboratory?

The MRI Safety Committee has developed Standard Operating Procedures to guide safe practices for the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging for research at the Medical College of Wisconsin. It is expected that all investigators and study team personnel adhere to these procedures.

Questions and concerns may be addressed to the MRI Safety Committee:

  What training is required?

MRI Safety Training is required for study personnel working in the magnetic environment or recruiting human subjects who will enter the magnetic environment of the scanners at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). Training includes a description of the dangers within the magnetic environment and instructions for identifying subjects and equipment that should not enter the magnetic environment.

Principal Investigators who will conduct research using the MCW scanner(s) are required to complete MRI Safety Training as they are ultimately responsible for the safety of the study. Training may be modified depending on the previous MRI experience of the investigator.

  What resources are available?

Support is available for research using MRI from the:

MRI Safety Committee

Center for Imaging Research

  What are the relevant policies, procedures and guidelines?

Please review the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) within the MRI Safety Committee website prior to conducting research using MRI at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

  Whom do I contact if I have additional questions?

MRI Safety Committee
General Inquiries:
Chair: Andrew Nencka, PhD
Safety Training: Julie Peay

Office of Research
General Inquiries:

Center for Imaging Research
General Inquiries:
Lydia Washechek
(414) 955-4956
(414) 955-6562 (fax)

Contact MRI Safety

MRI Safety Training: Julie Peay, BSM, RTR, (MR) FSMRT

Chair, MRI Safety Committee: Andrew Nencka, PhD, Assistant Professor

MRI Safety Committee

Research MRI Safety Site Map