High Field MRI Center - Standard Policies, Rules, and Procedures

High Field Magnetic Resonance Imaging Center Policies

The following is an abbreviated version of our policies. It contains sections that are most commonly references. To view the full version, please click here for the PDF.

It is the responsibility of the user to familiarize themselves with full standard policies, rules, and procedures of the High Field MRI Center.

MR Study Application

Investigators who would like to scan on the 3T Siemens Skyra or 7T Siemens Magnetom must submit an MR Study Application form to the CIND prior to the start of scanning. This must be completed prior to the start of every new project or study.


Hours of Operation

Standard operating hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. CIND MRI technicians are available to scan starting at 9:00 am and ending at 5:00 pm, see additional fees below.

The 3T and 7T magnets are also available during off-hours for users who are CIND certified (Level II and above) to conduct MR examinations on their own. CIND staff may be available to assist with after-hour scans, if advance notice is requested a minimum of two weeks prior to the scan. Please contact the CIND Magnet Lead to schedule.


Scanner Usage

For access to the MRI suite, please contact the CIND Magnet Lead. A single key to the MRI suite will be issued to the study PI. Scan technicians are responsible for logging all scanner usage in the billing database. CIND staff will assist with billing database setup and logging training. The entry will be linked to the study PO number for easy billing once scanning is ready to begin.

Periodically, the 3T and 7T magnets will be unavailable for use due to planned and unplanned Siemens maintenance. Scheduled Siemens preventative maintenance will be marked on the 3T and 7T MRI calendars with advance notice. Unscheduled Siemens service resulting in system errors and/or faulty equipment will be communicated to users with as much notice as is possible. If necessary, previously scheduled research scans may have to be cancelled to accommodate unplanned Siemens service. In addition, the SFVAMC Department of Radiology occasionally uses the research 3T Skyra scanner for clinical patients; please see the online 3T MRI calendar for a list of dates and times when the MRI scanner is unavailable to research users.

ALL individuals scanned at the 3T and 7T magnets, even those volunteering for development or trainings, MUST complete the appropriate pre-screen form and informed consent paperwork before their scan.

Prior to any consenting or scanning on VA property, all study personnel must:

  1. Be listed on the CHR/IRB approved study protocol, and
  2. have status as a VA employee, VA WOC (without compensation), or other VA appointment.

This includes all UC and NCIRE users. Please verify that you are on the study protocol before obtaining consent. For questions, please contact the CIND Study Recruitment & Assessment Coordinator.


User Certifications


All individuals who will be utilizing the MRI must acquire a High Field MRI Center User Certification.

  • Prior to entering the MRI Suite, all users must obtain a Level I Certification (Basic MRI Safety).
  • Prior to initial use, users will require a Level II Certification (Advanced Safety & Basic Operator).
  • Select users will require a Level III Certification (Advanced Operator), if they wish to use ancillary MRI equipment.

To obtain a High Field MRI Certification of any level, users must attend a magnet safety and emergency training session from CIND staff. They must also provide copies of certificates of TMS trainings in MRI safety and radiation safety. To obtain a High Field MRI Level II or III Certification, users must be able to show full competency in use of the magnet system and all ancillary equipment (if applicable), as well as be able to demonstrate advanced safety procedures. Users may request operator training from CIND staff to qualify for Level II or III certifications, at an additional cost. Operator training may take 10 to 50 hours to complete. Once users are fully trained or can demonstrate full competency, a High Field MRI Level II or Level III Certification will be granted.

All schedulers or recruiters who plan on escorting their subjects down to the MRI suite must be certified as a High Field MRI Center Level I user.

***Per VA mandate, all certifications expire after one year. ***

Certifications must be renewed annually. Please contact CIND to renew certifications.

For more information, please see High Field MRI User Certifications.


Metal Safety

It is CIND policy to not scan any subjects with undocumented or unconfirmed metal implants. Recruiters and schedulers are responsible for screening their subjects for metal safety and for researching implants they learn about before scheduling a scan. They must communicate the manufacturer and model name/number of the implant to CIND staff and wait for clearance; only after clearance is obtained may the MRI examination be scheduled. Relay all notes about the implant(s) to CIND staff.

If metal safety information is not researched or communicated to CIND in advance, the scan will be delayed or cancelled until MRI safety is confirmed.

A copy of a MRI Pre-screen can be found here


Facilities Resources

CIND will provide the following items that can be utilized by all users: earplugs, MR-spots, ear covers for system headphones, and sanitation wipes. CIND will also stock linens (sheets, pillow cases, blankets). It is the responsibility of each user to clean the 3T and 7T MRI suite after each use. This includes removing used linens, disposing of used linens in the linens bin/chute, disinfecting the patient table, head coil, and headphones, returning all equipment (i.e., pulse monitor), phantoms, and coils to their designated areas, and tidying up the console room. If we are running low on supplies, please notify CIND staff.

In order to maintain the integrity of the software system, CIND reserves the right to delete images/data from the 3T and 7T system at any time. It is imperative that users export and/or archive data immediately after the time of acquisition, and to also delete from temporary storage locations.


High Field MRI Center - Recharge Rates*


Rate Description


Internal Rate

External Rate

3T MRI Scan


$ 572

$ 720

7T MRI Scan


$ 572

$ 720

MRI Technologist

(CIND staff scanner)


$ 40.00


MRI User Training

(by CIND staff)


$ 40.00



*Effective July 1, 2019 until further notice