The Center for Magnetic Resonance Research
is looking for
Paid Research Volunteers
and Training Participants.
- 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 research 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.
A typical training or equipment demonstration session will
proceed similarly. In this case, University of Minnesota
employees and/or students will receive training on 3 Tesla
MRI software and hardware, be training new operators on
how to operate the 3 Tesla MRI or be demonstrating 3 Tesla
MRI system functionality. You will be asked to lie still
and may be asked to do a simple task within the MRI, such
as look at an image or manipulate a joystick.
- 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:
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.
Do you have any metal in your body?
This includes pins, screws, plates, permanent retainers, or braces on your teeth.
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
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
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.
Are you quite obese?
Because the space is so narrow, people who
are extremely heavy or obese cannot
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 contact 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
- 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
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 will fill out the actual form when you come in for your research study.
View a sample 3 Tesla MRI Participation Agrement which is used for training and equipment demonstration scans.