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The Center for Magnetic Resonance Research
is looking for
Paid Research Volunteers.



How much money can I earn?

You will be paid $15 to $20 per hour depending upon the study you participate in. Most studies take about an hour and a half to two and a half hours of your time. Occasionally there is a study which pays more (in the past we had a study which paid $100 for two and a half hours in the scanner) but this is unusual.

When and how will I be paid?

Checks are mailed to your home address by the University within 3-4 weeks after study completion.

What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a technique which uses strong magnetic fields and low energy radio waves to make pictures of the inside of the human body non-invasively (i.e. without cutting through the skin). Not only can we generate images of you internal anatomy, but we can measure the chemical state of your tissue. In most of our studies, we watch the amount of oxygen used by parts of your brain while you perform some simple task. MRI has a number of advantages over other medical imaging techniques, in that it does NOT use ionizing radiation and there is NO need for you to have to take any drugs or medication.

Is it Confidential?

Any information about your identity obtained from this research will be kept private. In any sort of report we might publish we will not include information that will make it possible for other people to know your name. You will be simply referred to by your gender, age and possibly some characteristic such as left or right handedness.

What happens in a typical study?

A typical study will proceed something like this: First, you will lie down on a table and as the table slides into the scanner, your head will go into a coil that resembles a helmet. We will put cushions around your head to keep it still. The table slides into the MRI scanner where you'll be able to see outside of the scanner through a view port and a mirror. Depending on the study, you may be asked to perform certain tasks with a joystick, respond to different visual or verbal stimuli, or in some cases, you may be able to simply lie there and listen to music.

Can Anyone Participate?

Most healthy adults (18 years or older) can. However, we do have a series of screening questions we ask anyone interested in participating in a study.

You must be able to answer NO to each of these questions:

  1. Do you have a cardiac pacemaker, hearing aid, or any other implant?

    The high magnetic field interferes with the proper functioning of pacemakers. Metal implants may be bent, pulled out of place etc. Shrapnel, for instance from an old war wound, left lodged near vital organs may be pulled by the field.

  2. Do you have any metal in your body?

    This includes pins, screws, plates, permanent retainers, or braces on your teeth.

  3. Do you have any non-removable jewelry or body piercing?

    Metal jewelry made out of materials such as surgical steel will tend to heat up and become uncomfortably warm. This is similar to what happens if you put a fork in a micro-wave oven.

  4. Is there any possibility you could be pregnant?

    While there are no known harmful side-effects of MRI, we would rather not take any chances. So we ask that if you might be pregnant you NOT take part in these studies.

  5. Are you at all claustrophobic?

    The MRI scanner is a very narrow enclosed space. It has been compared to a tanning bed or a torpedo tube. The coil (or helmet like device your head is placed in) is mere centimeters--possibly less--from the tip of your nose. Your head is placed in padding to help you hold it as absolutely still as possible. While you can get out of the magnet at any time during the experiment, if you are feeling seriously uncomfortable, you should be aware that it is an extremely confined space, and you will need to lie still for an hour or more.

  6. Are you quite obese?

    Because the space is so narrow, people who are extremely heavy or obese cannot participate.

  7. Do you need glasses and can not wear contact lenses?

    Most studies require you to respond to visual cues or instructions, so normal vision is usually required. In these studies, contact lens corrected vision is considered the same as normal vision.

Can I be removed from the volunteer list?

If you do not want to take part in further studies, just let us know and we'll remove your name. Other reasons you might be removed from the list include the no show, no call. Time on the MRI scanner is extremely expensive (hundreds of dollars per hour), so once you sign up for an experiment, we need to be able to count on you to be there. If for some reason you can not make it to an experiment you've signed up for, we ask if you can call as early as possible and let us know so that hopefully we can sign someone else up in your place. Sometimes particular researchers find it difficult to work with certain volunteers. Also, we need volunteers who are of at least average intelligence and coordination in order to keep the data valid.

Is there any risk to my health?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved some of the scanners we use in studies conducted here at the CMRR, but many of the devices are not FDA approved and are for investigational use only. No serious side effects of being in an MRI scanner have been reported after more than twenty-five years of use. A few people have reported side effects that include dizziness, mild nausea, a metallic taste in the mouth, and the sensation of seeing flashing lights. (Though some of these same effects have also been reported by subjects who were in a scanner where the magnet was turned off). These side effects, if experienced, go away soon after you leave the magnet. Despite the fact that no serious side effects have ever been reported from MRI, to be on the safe side we do limit any one volunteer to a maximum of 20 studies per year on our ultra high field magnets (i.e. 9.4T and greater).

This research involves minimal risk. If you are injured, treatment will be available at the Fairview-University Hospital and Clinic, including first-aid, emergency treatment and follow-up care if needed. In the unlikely event that this is necessary, you and your health insurance company must pay for any such treatment.

How do I sign up?

You can sign up by sending an e-mail to

mhartwig [at] cmrr (dot) umn (dot) edu

Please include your full name, address including city, State and ZIP Code as well as your telephone number.

Once you are on our list, you will be contacted as researchers let us know that they need volunteers. The recruitment email is usually sent out on Wednesday afternoons to all research volunteers on our list. The quicker you respond to the volunteer request the more likely you are to be placed in a study. You can feel free to call or email at any time to make sure we aren’t overlooking you.

View a Sample Consent Form...

View a sample consent form. You can fill out the actual form when you come in for your research study.

 
 

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