Skip to main content

Lab Access

On This Page

  1. Bookings
  2. Data access
  3. For patients




Get started

All investigators are required to submit a study initiation form before scanning time can be booked. This form requires a brief description of the project, a detailed MR/MEG protocol, details on funding and ethics approval. Scans may only be acquired for projects that have obtained ethics approval. The participant consent form must be submitted along with the study initiation form.  ImageTech staff are available to help investigators design their experimental protocol and can provide standard wording and processes for consent and incidental findings. Once the study initiation form has been approved by the SFU ImageTech Lab Protocol Review Committee, the investigator(s) will be able to start booking MR scan time.

Study initiation form (.pdf)

Steps to initiate a research study

Apply for a study

  1. Contact ImageTech to discuss the feasibility of conducting your study, and study protocols available to you 
  2. Apply for ethics approval. It is recommended that you include the text for the contraindications to MRI as written below into your consent forms. A copy of the MRI Incidental Finding chart can be provided.
  3. Submit a study initiation form and a copy of the subject consent form to the ImageTech Lab Director of Operations, Junaid Lalani. This step can be performed while ethics approval is still pending. 

Next steps

  • You will be contacted once the study is approved or if further information is required by the Protocol Review Committee
  • After study approval, a rate agreement will be sent. Your study may only start after this agreement has been signed and returned.
  • When ethics approval is obtained, and protocols are approved, the study may begin. 
  • You and/or your designates (anyone scheduling and/or accompanying subjects to the lab) must undergo a safety and facility orientation.
  • You must contact the ImageTech Lab Director of Operations, Junaid Lalani, who will set up your study, arrange safety orientations and put you in touch with the corresponding Imaging Leads. Study investigators can then arrange appointment bookings with the Imaging Leads based on availability.
  • ImageTech Lab operates on a cost-recovery basis. For current fee rates and cancellation policy, see fee schedule
  • Before making a booking, please make sure you fill out the pre-screening form
  • In order to book your study, you will need to register for SFU Calpendo 
    • Your study, study initiation form and ethics must have approval before you can register for SFU Calpendo
  • To register for SFU Calpendo, go to:
    • Click on "Register new user"
    • Create a local account or authenticate by clicking "SFU SSO" if you have an SFU affiliation 
  • Once registration is complete, ImageTech will review your request. Upon approval, you will receive a link by email to access SFU Calpendo.
  • The rest of the booking process is described on the SFU Calpendo home page. 


Ethics applications: Wording for contraindications 

It is recommended that you insert the following text to your consent forms.


You cannot participate if you have any of the following:

  • Retained wires from an electronic implant that has been removed (i.e. pacemaker wires not attached to a pacemaker)
  • Cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator
  • Metal in eye or orbit
  • Ferromagnetic aneurysm clip
  • Pregnancy
  • Makeup tattoos that are not designed to fade over time
  • Stainless steel intrauterine device (IUD)

Depending on the individual situation, you may not be able to participate if you have/had any of the following:

  • Artificial heart valve
  • Ear or eye implant
  • Brain aneurysm clip
  • Implanted electronic device (i.e. drug infusion pump, electrical stimulator)
  • Coil, catheter, or filter in any blood vessel
  • Orthopedic hardware (artificial joint, plate, screw, rod)
  • Shrapnel, bullets, or other metal fragments
  • Surgery, medical procedure or tattoos (including tattooed eyeliner) in the last six weeks
  • Other metallic prostheses

If you have any of the above, or if there are possible safety issues that arise during the MRI screening process, your individual case will be reviewed by the ImageTech Lab MR Technologist and/or Radiologist.  A decision will be made regarding your participation in the study. In many cases, an operative report may be required to assess the nature of the implants in your body.



Fee Schedule




Hourly rate (CDN) Description
Standard rate $600 Grant-funded studies
Industry rate Negotiated Private or industry-sponsored research
Pilot rate $150 A dry-run to test protocol timing, or short demo data for funding applications. Maximum of three hours per application, not for generating study data.
Additional support for data processing or analyzing  $150 Subject to approval and availability
MR spectroscopy analysis By quotation  
Contrast media $75 per 7.5ml Gadovist (gadobutrol) Bayer Inc.




Hourly rate (CDN) Description
Standard rate $525 Grant-funded studies
Industry rate Negotiated Private or industry-sponsored research
T1 structural MRI and MEG $650 $525 for one hour of MEG + $125 for 10 minutes of MRI
Pilot rate $0 A dry-run to test protocol timing, or short demo data for funding applications. Maximum of six hours per application, not for generating study data. Requests for pilot time in excess of  6 hours may be considered.
Additional support for data processing or analyzing  $150 Subject to approval and availability

Attention researchers

Please ensure to budget annually for 5% GST on top of the imaging rates posted in your grant applications and financial projections.

Effective April 1, 2024:

  • Fees for new studies are anticipated to increase by at least 5% in 2024; please budget accordingly in your grant applications and financial projections. 
  • Further, annual fee increases of 5 – 10 % may be required for scans starting April 1, 2025 and beyond. It is critical to include annual scan fee increases for each year in your grant applications budgets. 



Date of cancellation Fee
14+ days before scan No fee
14 to eight days before scan  50% of scan fee
Seven to three days before scan 75% of scan fee
Fewer than three days before scan 100% of scan fee

By accepting the terms and conditions and making the bookings electronically, ImageTech is permitted to debt their funds for the hours booked at the agreed upon fates.



Data access

In order to access your data on the ImageTech server you will need an active SFU computing ID. If you are currently not employed by or studying at SFU, you can obtain a temporary SFU computing ID by contacting ImageTech’s director of operations.

Your study's data is located on a secure server hosted by SFU. Follow the links for instructions on how to access data:

  • On Mac
  • On Linux
  • On Windows

If you are trying to access the drive outside of campus, you will first need to login to the SFU network via VPN. Log in to the SFU VPN and follow the instructions using your SFU credentials.



For Patients

What is MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) makes use of magnetic fields and radio waves to examine internal structures of the body in any number of planes. The procedure is non-invasive and completely harmless. No ionizing radiation (such as X-rays) or radio-active material are used during the study. MRI is particularly useful for imaging soft tissue such as the brain. As well as allowing tissue structure to be visualized in every high detail, it is also capable of measuring certain characteristics of brain function.

The powerful magnetic field necessitates several safety measures: if you wear a pacemaker, infusion pump, certain metallic clips, heart valves or orthopaedic prosthesis, these must be brought to the attention of the Technologist. Before the examination, all metal objects including credit cards and watches must be removed.


What can I expect during a scan/examination?

The procedure requires that you lie on your back with your head in a "tunnel," which is very similar to a CAT scan machine. The tunnel is open on both sides and is well lit and ventilated. You will, at all times, be in intercom contact with the radiographer, who will also be able to see you at all times.

The examination will take about 45 minutes and will be accompanied by a series of loud knocking sounds. There are no moving parts within the scanner, and the knocking sounds occur due to vibration of the machine in the magnetic fields. In some instances, the intravenous administration of contrast agent is also necessary, but you will be notified in advance about this. Finally, it is important that you do not move at any stage during the examination as this makes the images blurry.

Clinical Patients

Please note that for clinical patients, your data is sent directly to the hospital informatics system. ImageTech does not store or use your data for any type of research. These are solely clinical appointments as part of the public health system.