Queen's University
Standard Operating Procedures

System Billing Guide

1. Introduction

  • The 3T MRI Facility is used primarily for in-vivo studies of human and animal structure and function. These studies include assessment of metabolism and physiology, cognitive function and vascular dynamics, not only in normal and research patient populations, but also in in-vitro and animal models using a variety of advanced nuclear magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy techniques. The facility resources are available to peer-reviewed grant funded scientific collaborators with appropriate Research Ethics Board (REB) protocols in place. See SOP# 04 “New Protocols and Ethics Procedures”.
  • Full-time technical support for scanner operation is provided and included in hourly rates during regular weekday hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. Scanning support for after-hours and weekend scanning may be arranged on a subcontract basis. For scanner scheduling please contact the MR technologist at fmri@queensu.ca .
  • Rates are periodically discussed and adjusted by the Facility Management Committee (FMC). These rates are determined through careful consideration of the facility operating costs and overhead. Notification of rate changes is given one full quarter prior to implementation.

2. Billing Guide

  • All billing begins at the start time indicated on the 3T MRI Schedule regardless of whether or not the investigator and/or the experimental support personnel are present and ready to proceed.
  • The investigator and/or experimental support personnel are responsible for organizing the experiment such that it begins at the start time and ends at the end time as scheduled+. An experiment will not be allowed to exceed the scheduled time, unless there is time available on the schedule following the question and the operator agrees to stay and operate the scanner for the extra time allotted.
    +Note that the end time means exiting the MR control room and having replaced all equipment to their normal operating state and not exiting the magnet room at that time.

3. Standard Rates

  • All rates are predetermined by the Facility Management Committee (FMC) and are subject to periodic review. The current rates are as follow:

    Current rates for investigators from Queen’s (as of January 1st, 2018):

    • Research Study rates:
      • 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. $350/hr – operator assisted
      • 5:00 pm – 9:00 am. $425/hr – operator assisted, with prior arrangement
      • Saturday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. $425/hr – operator assisted, with prior arrangement
    • Non-research study rate Fee waived (equipment or protocol testing not requiring ethics approval, i.e. no human or animal test subjects)

    Rates for external investigators and clinical trials (effective January 1, 2018):

    • Research Study rates):
      • 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. $600/hr – operator assisted
      • 5:00 pm – 9:00 am. $675/hr – operator assisted with prior arrangement
      • Saturday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. $675/hr – operator assisted with prior arrangement
      • Non-research study rate $50/hr (equipment or protocol testing not requiring ethics approval, i.e. no human or animal test subjects)

4. Future Rates

The Facility Management Committee (FMC) has determined that future rate increases will occur on a schedule outlined below.  Please use this schedule to budget future studies:


Internal Rate

External / Clinical Trial Rate

July 1, 2018



May 1, 2019



May 1, 2020



May 1, 2021



May 1, 2022



      Note that the after hours fee will continue to be $75/hr, in addition to the above rates, but is also subject to periodic review by the FMC.

5. Incidental Findings

  1. Incidental findings discovered during imaging will be sent to a radiologist and billed at $100/hr.  These costs are billed to the investigator responsible for the session.  While typically these findings are rare, if your subject group is likely to contain an unusually high amount of incidental findings, then the investigator is encouraged to make arrangements to have these scans read by a collaborating radiologist, thus avoiding these fees.  What constitutes an incidental finding is at the discretion of the technologist and the Facility Director.

6. Scheduling

  • All studies must be first approved by the FMC and must be booked through the MR Technologist.
  • The 3T MRI Schedule is available for viewing through the Scheduling Page.
  • The MR Technologist will be available for studies: 2nd Monday of the month 13:00-16:30 Monday – Friday* + 09:00-16:30 *The hour lunch-break for the technologist is scheduled between 11AM and 1PM to allow flexibility in study start/end times and maximum scheduling, but is usually from 12-1PM. Any change from 12-1PM will be indicated on the facility calendar and must be done with prior arrangement. +There may be Maintenance or Facility listed on the schedule. Scanning is not possible during those times. Time for study setup within the control room may be possible during Maintenance Time – contact the technologist to find out.
  • In order to maximize the facility schedule users are encouraged to use the following start times for studies whenever possible:
    9:00 1 ½ hour booking
    10:30 1 ½ hour booking
    13:00 2 hour booking
    15:00 1 ½ hour booking
    Shorter or longer time slots may still be booked, preferably starting at one of these 4 start times, to allow time for other users to book studies before or after.
  • Access for editing the 3T MRI Scheduling is restricted to the MR Technologist and the Facility Director. Investigators and/or experimental support personnel are required to contact the MR Technologist at fmri@queensu.ca to book time on the 3T MRI Schedule.
  • The Facility Director may cancel time booked on the 3T MRI Schedule at his discretion.

7. Cancellation Policy

  • If an investigator wishes to transfer their scan time to another study or investigator, they must notify the head operator with at least 72 hours notice. Failure to notify the operator may result in the loss of scan time and being billed for the session.
  • The cancellation policy for the 3T MRI Facility is as follow:
    • 72 hours notice is required to cancel a scan session.
    • If the Facility has not received 72 hours notice, the appropriate principal investigator will be billed in full for the scan session.

8. Tour Policy

  • Tours for educational purposes are available at the discretion of the MRI Facility Directory with advance arrangement, and are to be led by the Facility Director, or the Director of the CNS. If you would like to inquire about arranging an educational tour, please contact the MR Technologist at fmri@queensu.ca.
  • Tour organizers are responsible for paying for the MRI facility time at the research study rates listed in section 3.