Policies of the Center for Image Acquisition

The links below outline CIA policies and are intended as resources for investigators, clinicians, and patients. If you find that your questions are not answered here, please contact us at cia@ini.usc.edu.

The MRI technology in use at the CIA is safe if used properly. However, the strong magnets and cryogen coolant systems used in MRI do present potential hazards, so the CIA has taken steps to prevent unauthorized or unqualified individuals from gaining access to sensitive areas. For information about the levels of access, proper use of equipment, and necessary precautionary measures please see the CIA Safety Policy.

Investigator Training
To ensure the safety of everyone, only properly certified personnel are able to operate the scanner or enter sensitive areas of the CIA unsupervised. Safety Certification involves both general online testing about the risks involved with MRI and in-person, site-specific training on our equipment. For more information on becoming Safety Certified to scan at the CIA, please visit Safety Certification.

The CIA hosts both research and clinical scans, on both 3T and 7T scanners. Scheduling is accomplished via an online scheduler, available to those with CIA site registration and an approved project. For information about scheduling procedures, pricing, and policies, please visit Scheduling.

Pilot Scanning
Investigators may apply for free "pilot" scans to assist in research paradigm testing or preliminary data collection to be used in grant or funding applications, when agreeing to conduct resultant, funded, scans at the CIA. Restrictions apply, please see Pilot Scanning.

Data Security and Sharing
The Center for Image Acquisition is committed to protecting patient and subject information and securely storing data. The CIA is also committed to fostering collaborative science by encouraging and facilitating use of the Image and Data Archive, a secure data sharing and storage platform powered by the USC Laboratory of Neuro Imaging. For more information about data policies, visit Data Security and Sharing.

Subject Payments
Human subjects in research studies can be paid for their time and participation via a prepaid one-time use debit card or prepaid recurring ClinCard. For more information, please visit our page on Subject Payments.