Bedford Way, Grade II* listed building designed by Sir Denys Lasdun

Birkbeck-UCL Centre for Neuroimaging 26 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AP, UK, +44 (0)20 7679 5475

bucni-admin at

New Project

To start a new project, the following steps need to be completed.

  1. New projects can be submitted on the BUCNI website by a Principal Investigator. You will need to have PI account on the website so if you do not have this yet you will need to contact Sam Schwarzkopf (s.schwarzkopf at or another member of the BUCNI committee to create one for you.

  2. A new project also needs a Project Lead and so you will also need to create an account for that. Project Lead accounts can make bookings on the online scheduler. Only PI accounts can register new projects. We will require an email address and a phone number (ideally mobile) to register new accounts.

  3. With these accounts you can register a new project proposal. The online form for that is found in your PI account under Project Proposal -> Form in the menu.

  4. The form requires you to select from a list of project presentation dates scheduled within the coming months. Usually there will be one presentation per month (except for August when we’re on summer downtime). Moreover, normally we will only allow four presentations per session. Finally, you can only register presentations until three days before the date so if the date is a Wednesday you can register up to the end of Sunday.

  5. In your registration be sure to include the grant code and who the scanner operators will be. Without these, the project cannot get registered. Please note that only certified BUCNI operators can operate the scanner. If you require operator training or an operator from outside your project this needs to be stated explicitly.

  6. Projects MUST have ethics approval and data protection numbers before any scanning begins. We strongly encourage investigators to obtain ethics and liability clearance before project presentation and this is why these are mandatory fields on the online registration form.

  7. Sam will always confirm receipt of your proposal and presentation. If he hasn't emailed you back within a day, or you received an away message telling you when to expect a reply, please try contacting him again.

  8. Prepare a presentation to be given at the BUCNI Project Presentation you registered for. The purpose of these is to present the design of your experiment and get feedback from the community in advance of scanning. The dates of presentations will be announced on the BUCNI mailing list and can be seen on the BUCNI blog page.

    • Presentations are strictly limited to 5 minutes. As a result, there are a maximum of 5 slides: one title slide and four content slides. We recommend skipping all background information except the question you’re investigating. Focus your limited time on the design of the experiment instead.

    • The final slide should list your hypotheses. For largely exploratory studies it should at least describe the expected results in broad terms. Exploration is important for science but the experimental design should be adequate for producing useful evidence.

    • Please include information about (i) the groups being tested, (ii) the conditions, (iii) the baseline(s), (iv) the number of runs, (v) the timing of blocks/events, (vi) the stimuli, etc. In short, everything needed to evaluate the fMRI design.

  9. The slides must be sent to Sam Schwarzkopf (s.schwarzkopf at by Sunday evening of the week before the presentation date (i.e. usually the date up until which you can register a new project). Sam will check them to ensure the guidelines were followed and he may suggest things to be changed. He will then upload the slides onto the computer at the time of presentations. Please note that late emails will not be included in the presentations and we don’t allow bringing a corrected/updated version on the day!

  10. Once your project has been formally presented and approved and ethics approvals are in place, then the new project will be made active on the BUCNI web scheduler for booking scanning time.

  11. All the people involved in the project must complete safety training before beginning the project. Safety training will be held at regular intervals and takes about one and a half hours. Email Tessa Dekker (t.dekker at to register for the next training.

Policy Document

Safety, operator, and general policies are covered in the Safety Guidelines and Code of Practice document, available here BUCNI Manual