Scan operator training

Prerequisite: MRI safety training

The DBIC trains research faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and full-time research staff to operate the scanner without an MRI technician being present. Scan operator training is a two-part process. The first step involves becoming an operator-in-training, and the second step is completion of the hands-on training required for operator certification.

To become an operator-in-training, you will need to coordinate a training appointment with During this training session, users will learn how to administer and follow all MRI safety scanning procedures, as well as be introduced to the following:

Following completion of the in-person introduction to scan operating session, operators-in-training will need to complete 10 hours of hands-on training with a certified scan operator before being allowed independent access to the MRI suite. The last competency demonstration for certification must be completed while Terry Sackett is present.

To become a certified scan operator, reseachers will need to demonstrate competence in the following domains:

  • ability to administer and follow all MRI safety and scanning procedures, including how to thoroughly screen subjects for MRI safety; complete the pre-scan experimenter form
  •  accurate use and operation of the metal detector;
  • proper operation of the air-locked door to the MRI suite
  • thorough knowledge of the DBIC's incident reporting policy
  • thorough knowledge of the DBIC's emergency procedures.
  • ability to correctly position and place a subject in the scanner bore
  • proper deployment of hearing protection (e.g. ear plugs/ear buds)
  • independent use  and set up of stimulus presentation and response devices
  • accurate registration of research participants into the Redcap database
  • thorough and accurate entry of data into the DBIC logbook
  • thorough and accurate entry of data into the scanner database
  • ability to select and execute a scan protocol, including how to verify completion of data transfer to the server post-scan

Scan operators will be expected to know and follow all DBIC safety policies and procedures at all times, and are also responsible for following all DBIC housekeeping policies to maintain the health and safety of our participants and equipment.

For more information on becoming a certified scan operator, please contact

Trainings can be scheduled on an as-needed basis. Training hours are Monday-Friday, starting at 8:00am, ending by 4:00pm.

MRI operator trainings are limited to 3 participants per class.