How to get access
To get access to NeuRA Imaging's scanning facilities if your research involves humans or animals, you will need approval from an appropriate Research Ethics Committee. For NeuRA or UNSW based studies, the primary Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) for this facility is UNSW HREC. If your study includes patients from a NSW Health facility, you will first need ethical approval from the relevant NSW Health HREC, e.g. South Eastern Sydney Area Health Service Human Research Ethics Committee
Before filling in the application to these committees please read our page on ethics approval. This page includes pre-approved text for use in participant information and consent forms to streamline your ethics approval and some important issues you will need to address in your ethics application.
Once you have Human Ethics approval, all projects then need to be approved by NeuRA Imaging's Scientific Management Panel (SMP), and receive NeuRA site-specific ethics approval. The site-specific approval is required for all research undertaken at NeuRA, and is part of SMP application for your convenience.
The submission will be considered by the Scientific Management Panel and will concurrently undergo the NeuRA site-specific ethics approval process. Researchers will usually be notified of the outcome within two weeks of receiving the application.
The NeuRA Imaging SMP consists of a core group of scientists who review each application, and a larger Advisory Group who are consulted as required. Current members of the SMP are:
Prof Simon Gandevia FAA
Prof Caroline Rae
Dr Ronald Shnier
Scientia Prof. Perminder Sachdev
All researchers who are users of NeuRA Imaging facilities are required to attend NeuRA's MRI Safety Induction course and successfully complete the assessment.
Researchers who have not completed the course will not be able to access the facility.The course can be completed at any time including before projects are approved or ethics clearance is obtained.
During NeuRA's MRI Safety Induction Course you will be made aware of the risks associated with MRI scanning. You will learn about safety-related issues specific to NeuRA Imaging facilities and important operational procedures. The course takes about 2 hours.
Please contact us to find out when the next course is and how to register.
All approved research is subject to the NeuRA Imaging Terms and Conditions.
After project approval
Bookings must be made in writing by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and will be confirmed by return email. No verbal bookings are taken. Only SMP approved projects where the researchers have signed the NeuRA Imaging Terms and Conditions may make bookings.
How much time do I need?It is your responsibility that all data can be acquired within the time of your booking. When deciding how much scan time you need, keep in mind that it takes at least 5-10 minutes to position participants and set up the scan fields. Allow more time for positioning patients with limited mobility or children. Rushing scans can make people anxious and can compromise the quality of your data. Contact us if you are unsure about how much scan time you need.
Scan session cancellations and late arrivals may attract a fee, as set out in the NeuRA Imaging Terms and Conditions.
- Please report to MRI reception at least 10-15 minutes before your scan time.
- All study participants must be accompanied by a researcher who has completed the MRI Safety Induction.
- All participants will be required to complete an MRI screening form prior to the booking time, so make sure you arrive on time. The radiographer will review the screening form, and if there are MRI safety issues raised by the participant’s responses, then the radiographer has the final say on whether it is safe to scan the participant. We therefore encourage you to run through the screening form with your participant ahead of time so any issues can be investigated.
- All research consent forms should be completed prior to your booked scan time.
- The participant will be positioned in the MRI scanner by the radiographer and the imaging performed according to your protocol.
- If you are running late, or your protocol takes longer than expected, you may not be able to complete your protocol, so please ensure you are on time, and you have booked sufficient time to complete your protocol.
Chief investigators of research studies must complete an online project update each year to update study status, staff and contact details, publications and grants. This information is required to ensure our reporting requirements under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme (NCRIS) which in turn supports your research. We also use this information when applying for equipment upgrade funding.
All MRI users must complete an MRI Safety update exam every two years to ensure safety awareness is up-to-date.
All publications, conference abstracts and grants arising from the project must acknowledge NeuRA Imaging in the methods section and in the Acknowledgements by including the following statement:
"The authors acknowledge the facilities and scientific and technical assistance of NeuRA Imaging, a node of the National Imaging Facility, a National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) capability."
See the NeuRA Imaging Terms and Conditions for details.