UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


BUCNI Training

At BUCNI, we offer two types of training to access and use the MRI scanners: (1) Safety training and (2) Operator training.

Safety Training

Safety training is compulsory for anyone who uses the scanner or works on a project at BUCNI (e.g. Research Assistants who look after participants attending to be scanned, etc.). Certified BUCNI users are required to renew the safety training status every 18 months. During this time, certified BUCNI users are also required to attend one in-person safety training session that will be held once per term. Please email Winnie Yeh (w.yeh@bbk.ac.uk) if you have any questions.

Online safety training: how does it work?

As you may know, the standard BUCNI safety training has been moved online. We are currently using the UCLExtend platform that allows both internal UCL members and external members to sign up for the course. The course consists of 5 modules and each of them has 1 video class and interim quizzes. 

How to sign up for the course:

  1. Here is the link to BUCNI Safety Training on UCLExtend
  2. Select "Checkout"
  3. Create an account or log in to UCLExtend if you already have an account. 
  4. You should now have access and it should look like this.

Screenshot_BUCNI_UCLExtend Page

How to pass the training:

To complete the training, you simply need to watch all the video classes and answer all the in-video questions. You will need to receive >60% on the quizzes for each module to pass the safety training. Once completed, please get in touch with Winnie Yeh (w.yeh@bbk.ac.uk). There is no fixed deadline to complete the course, so you can do it at your own pace. 

Online safety training: who needs to register?

Everyone who is planning to be involved with a scanning project at BUCNI (students and more senior researchers, including PIs) is required to register for the BUCNI safety training and attend it once every 18 months to remain certified as a BUCNI user.

In-person safety training

Joerg Magerkurth will host one in-person safety training per term. Every certified user is required to attend at least one session. The dates for the in-person safety training will be sent out through the mailing list. Please remember to sign up to our mailing list. 

Operator Training

We encourage regular users of the scanner to become Certified Scanner Operators where possible. This has the advantage of saving on the cost of hiring an operator and can increase scanning flexibility.

In order to become a Certified Operator at BUCNI, an MRI safety-trained individual must complete operator training with a BUCNI-Certified Operator Trainer. The process involves not only learning how to safely put subjects into the scanner and operate the console, but also becoming familiar with the BUCNI equipment, procedures, rules, and regulations. On average, training lasts approximately 20 hours but this varies across individuals. The bottom line is that training takes as long as necessary to master the material. Until then, trainees are not allowed to operate the scanner without the assistance of a BUCNI Trainer.

The procedure is fairly simple:

  1. Identify a Trainer who is willing to be your lead trainer. Please ask BUCNI administrator Winnie Yeh for a list of people who currently have a trainer account at BUCNI. This person is then responsible for ensuring the completeness of your training, although other trainers may also contribute. Once the trainer has agreed, the Principal Investigator on your project needs to send an email to Fred Dick (f.dick@bbk.ac.uk) and Winnie Yeh (w.yeh@bbk.ac.uk), cc'ing your main trainer to confirm that they are happy for you to start the training, that they understand the procedures, and that they are happy to cover the training fee.
  2. Training involves one-on-one tuition with a trainer. Typically, this begins by observing the trainer whilst they scan and explain what they are doing. At some point, the trainee will take over the scanning operations under the close supervision of the trainer. Once the trainer thinks you're ready, you will act as an operator independently, although the trainer will be in the console room to answer questions or assist in the event that you need help. Note that in the early stages of operator training it is most efficient if any experiments you run are thoroughly piloted with the scanner, or if someone else (not you or your operator trainer) takes care of running them. This is so that you can focus solely on learning how to run the scanner and will get the most out of your training.
  3. When the trainer feels that the trainee is ready, the trainer and trainee contact Fred Dick and Winnie Yeh for the final training session(s) by one of the BUCNI head trainers, to make sure that all of the trainee's questions are addressed and that s/he is confident and secure in all aspects of scanner operation. The final step is an operator 'drivers test'. in which we go through the operator trainer checklist. Once everyone is comfortable with the level of preparation, the trainee is signed up on the BUCNI system as an official operator.
  4. When all of the above steps are successfully completed, the trainee must fill out the Operator Skills Checklist form and get it signed by their Lead Trainer and by whoever ran their Advanced Operator Class. This can be handed to Winnie and the new operator will receive a certificate demonstrating they have successfully completed operator training at BUCNI.