Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute (INI)

Request for Proposals (RFP)

Stevens Ultra High-Field 7T MRI Discovery Award

Goal: To enhance scientific discovery at ultra high-field 7T MRI in health and disease with the purpose of advancing our understanding of neural mechanisms and pathways in the human CNS.

The USC Stevens Center for Image Acquisition (CIA) invites applications for a 1-year grant application on topics related to processes and pathways implicated in health and disease. Applications may include topics that leverage the benefits of ultra high-field MRI (e.g., high resolution structural and functional MRI, SWI), or address existing technological limitations of ultra high-field MRI (e.g., diffusion MRI, ASL, MRS). Investigators are encouraged to converge across disciplines, including medicine, engineering, neuroscience, and related departments, for optimal bench-to-bedside advances. Applicants may collaborate with Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics investigators who have expertise in MRI, but this is not required. Topics and objectives that are likely to attract extramural funding, with a clear roadmap from results of project to an extramural funding application, are desired. Preference is given to neuroimaging (brain/spinal cord) applications, however imaging applications outside of the CNS that fit within the scope of available hardware and software may be considered.

The USC CIA is housed adjacent to and as a part of the USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute. The Siemens Magnetom Terra 7T system within the CIA is an actively shielded whole body superconducting magnet and is now FDA approved for clinical imaging. FDA approval enables data acquisition of patients with neurological diseases using NOVA single-channel transmit and 32-channel receive (1Tx/32Rx) head coil (while a research mode allows 8-channel parallel RF transmission). This includes, but is not limited to, patients with Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke, and Brain Tumor. The CIA is fully equipped with patient monitoring and stimulus presentation equipment. Stimulation equipment includes a Cambridge Research Systems BOLDscreen LCD display for fMRI and a Current Designs 4-button response box pad. MR contrast is delivered via a Medrad Spectris Solaris EP Injector. The Magnetom Terra 7T is also housed next to a state of the art Siemens Magnetom Prisma 3T, which may enable cross-scanner comparisons.

Budget: Maximum allowable budget is $14,000 (equivalent to 20 hours of 7T scanning). Monies awarded by the CIA are restricted to MRI scan costs. This award is non-renewable, and a no-cost extension is not allowed. No indirect costs are allowed. A final project report is required within 3 months of the end of the project period.

Who may apply as PI: USC and USC-affiliated faculty are eligible. Faculty at institutions outside of USC will be considered upon request.

Materials to submit:
1. 2-page proposal (0.5” margins; single-spaced; font type: Arial typeface; font size: 11 pt.).
2. Biosketch of PI and all key personnel – (5 pages maximum)
3. IRB approval for the project (or submitted IRB application)

Applications open: January 15, 2023
Application deadline: February 15, 2023
Anticipate award notification: March 15, 2023
Anticipated start date: April 1, 2023
Award period: 1-year period
Estimated number of awards: 1-4

Application has been closed. Questions may be submitted to and