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MRI Physicist/Operations Manager-Senior Research Fellow

Apply now Job no: 503451
Work type: Senior/Research Fellow (Amherst Only)
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Personalized Health Monitoring
Union: Non-Unit Exempt
Categories: Research

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

This position is intended to provide operational oversight of the Human Magnetic Resonance Center (hMRC) in addition to performing MRI Physicist duties including technical assistance with human brain imaging protocol development, data collection, and processing of functional, structural, and diffusion tensor MRI data.

The hMRC provides structural and functional imaging and spectroscopy of all body tissues for researchers at UMass, as well as external users. The candidate will refine operating protocols, ensure daily operation, maintenance, and calibration of the scanner and peripheral equipment; assist faculty, students and external users with MRI training to grow the user base, and oversee hMRC technical staff and students to promote the highest quality, safe daily operation of the center.


Essential Functions

MRI Physicist Duties (Neuroimaging):

  • Establish and maintain advanced research techniques and procedures, including implementation and/or design of novel MR sequences, support in design and analysis of task- and resting state brain fMRI, structural MRI, structural and functional connectivity; implement, maintain and optimize non-invasive cerebral blood flow techniques, and provide support for the use of non-invasive brain-stimulation tools inside the MR scanner
  • Maintain instrumentation service and maintenance, including all peripheral as well as intra-tube equipment in the real and mock scanners (e.g., MR-compatible eye tracker, EEG, audio recording and microphone equipment, MR compatible brain-stimulation equipment such as transcranial electrical stimulation and transcranial focused Ultrasound Stimulation, etc.)
  • Monitor new developments and improvements in technology to keep hMRC competitive and state-of-the-art


  • Work with neuroimaging users to select protocols best suited to their needs and research aims; explore new experimental options for any novel and innovative research questions
  • Train new and oversee established neuroimaging users


Operations Director Duties:

  • Provide day-to-day oversight of hMRC to promote the highest quality, safe daily operation
  • Provide operational oversight for the MR scanner and peripheral instrumentation; including new user acquisitions (internal & external), ensuring user satisfaction with products/services, and working with users on the best use of the facility in their research.
  • Manage the day-to-day maintenance of the MR scanner and peripheral instrumentation, including the mock scanner, specifically oversee routine calibration, maintenance and troubleshooting of all hMRC equipment as currently performed by the hMRC staff.
  • Participate in recommendations on purchase of major Core equipment
  • Provide timely support to hMRC customers
  • Support investigators with assistance in designing Research Strategies and Letters of Support for grant applications that will use the Core
  • Draft, review and finalize major instrumentation grant proposals in collaboration with PIs and steering committee (ie, MRI from NSF and S10 program from NIH)
  • Create and maintain instructional documentation and disseminate to users.
  • Create and maintain core databases, including secure records of safety screening forms, scan records, project requests and renewals.

Core Facility Promotion and External Collaborations:

  • Communicate with IALS community regarding capabilities and advantages of using core facility
  • Provide support for academic and industry investigators, including data collection and analyses, and project prioritization


  • Oversee MR technician and undergraduate/graduate students


  • Work with hMRC staff, hMRC Steering Committee, and relevant UMass offices (e.g. EH&S) to establish and maintain operating protocols
  • Generate reports on Core Facility instrument usage, anticipated needs or changes, and the Core Facility financial position, on a regular basis.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • A Ph.D in physics, engineering, neuroscience or a related field with strong background in MR Physics is required.
  • Recent experience in a human experimental neuroimaging research environment.
  • Experience with operation of MR scanner and peripheral experimental instrumentation.
  • 2-5 years of relevant post-doctoral or research scientist experience conducting neuroimaging research.
  • Must understand current scientific methods and research regulations.
  • Demonstrated written and verbal communications skills in English


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Experience managing a human MR research center and staff is highly desirable.
  • Experience with a Seimens platform is preferable.
  • Membership and professional activity in ISMRM is desirable
  • Excellent managerial, leadership, negotiation, and project management skills and ability to manage crises or changing situations effectively is desired
  • Excellent initiative, independence and problem-solving skills. Ability to make sound and mature decisions, in a constative manner when necessary, and to carry out assignments in an organized and timely manner, balancing the demands of concurrent and potentially competing projects is desired
  • Ability to motivate and lead a team working on collaborative projects, and to work cooperatively and productively with staff, faculty, Chair, students, Dean’s office personnel, other campus administrators and staff, and members of the public is desired
  • Experience developing and managing budgets is preferred


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Typical office environment.


Additional Details

The Operations Manager will be supervised by the Director of Centralized Core Facilities in the Institute for Applied Life Sciences.


Work Schedule

8am to 4:30pm


Salary Information

Salary Commensurate with Experience


Special Instructions to Applicants

Please complete the application in full and provide a cover letter, résumé and contact information of three professional references by December 15, 2019 for priority consideration.


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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