ISMRM 2021 Research Exchange Program

Funded by the ISMRM Research & Education Fund

The 2021 application period has closed.

The ISMRM Research Exchange Program aims to foster the exchange of ideas and promote the advancement of basic science, pre-clinical, and clinical magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy (MRI/S) research by supporting the exchange of researchers to alternate research sites.

Mission Statement

To promote the advancement of MRI/S research by catalyzing the exchange of scientific personnel; to build community amongst MRI/S scholars that fosters rapid and efficient transfer of knowledge and progress of the field.

Who can apply?

ISMRM members affiliated with academic institutes with appointments at (or below) the level of Assistant Professor are encouraged to apply. Applicants must:

  1. Be ISMRM Trainee or Full Members;
  2. Find a host mentor (ISMRM Full Member); and
  3. Work closely with this mentor to prepare the submitted application.

If the applicant is a Trainee Member, then it is preferred that applicants home/local mentor be a ISMRM Full Member. Scientists and clinicians who reside in financially restricted countries and do not have access to alternative financial means are especially encouraged to apply.

Note: Previously successful applicants are ineligible to apply again. Applications from students currently working with ISMRM Research Exchange Committee members are discouraged.

Who can host?

ISMRM Full Members that are principal investigators of an active MRI/S research group at an academic institute are encouraged to host applicants.

How do applicants find a host?

Applicants may find a host via existing scientific networks that the ISMRM already fosters (annual meetings and workshops). Applicants can also reach out directly to ISMRM full members with whom they would like to work.

How to apply?

Applicants will provide a two-page research proposal, two letters of reference (applicant’s home mentor or department chair; and the applicant’s host mentor) and curriculum vitae. A single, combined PDF containing these files must be uploaded here before the deadline noted at the top of this page. Applicants are encouraged to review the evaluation criteria (see below).

How do I prepare the research proposal?

The proposal must outline the specific aim(s), significance & innovation, and approach (~1.5 pages). The applicant should provide a budget justification and also address the need for financial support and the benefits of the exchange collaboration (~0.5 pages). The proposal should be single-spaced on letter-sized or A4 paper with 1-inch (25mm) margins and a 12-point font.

What funds are available?

Up to $5000 per applicant is available. Winners will be contacted by the end of March and will be formally announced at the ISMRM Annual Meeting. This funding is aimed at catalyzing the exchange, not fully supporting all associated costs. Funds must be used within one-year of having been awarded.

When to apply?

Applications are due any time before the deadline noted at the top of this page.

When does the exchange occur? For how long?

The trainee can visit the host site any time within one-year after the award announcement. Exchange durations should be for a minimum of eight weeks. Because earnest collaboration and scientific progress both require significant time to develop, longer visits are strongly encouraged. It is expected that most exchanges will be for 3-6 months. Applicants will likely require additional funding support to fully leverage the catalyzing funds from the ISMRM.

How are applications evaluated?

The ISMRM Research Exchange Program committee will review all applications and individually score (5-highest, 1-lowest) each category:

  1. Importance of the exchange for the applicant’s growth as a scientist;
  2. Likely success of the proposed project;
  3. Likelihood of establishing a sustained collaboration and/or benefit to the ISMRM;
  4. Applicant’s research preparedness for the exchange;
  5. Suitability of the host site for the proposed project; and
  6. The financial need of the recipient.


Applicants must provide the ISMRM Research Exchange Program committee with a one- to two-page report about the outcomes of their research exchange. This can highlight research results, software developments (open source is encouraged), abstracts, papers, patents etc. Preferably, the authors can provide a copy of a submitted or accepted ISMRM abstract related to the exchange. All applicants must acknowledge support from the ISMRM in any publications resulting from the exchange. Reports are due one month before the annual ISMRM meeting commences.

If you have any questions, please email

The 2021 application period has closed.

Research Exchange Program Recipients

Agah Karakuzu, M.Sc.
Project Title: Developing transparent, reproducible and vendor-agnostic workflows for quantitative MRI
Home Mentor: Nikola Stikov, Eng., M.Sc., Ph.D. (University of Montréal, École Polytechnique/Montreal Heart Institute, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Montreal, QC, Canada)
Host Mentor: John M. Pauly, Ph.D. (Stanford University, Department of Engineering, Stanford, CA, USA)

Valerie Klein, M.Sc.
Project Title: Investigating the cardiac stimulation limit of MRI gradient systems by measurements and simulations in a porcine model
Home Mentor: Lothar R. Schad, Ph.D. (University Medical Centre: Mannheim Hospital, Mannheim, Germany)
Host Mentor: Lawrence L. Wald, Ph.D. (Massachusetts General Hospital, Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Charlestown, MA, USA)

Miheer Mayekar, M.Eng.
Project Title: Indigenous 1.5 T Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) system development
Home Mentor: Rajesh Harsh, M.Sc. (SAMEER, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay campus, Powai, Mumbai, India)
Host Mentor: Özlem Ipek, Ph.D. (King’s College London, School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences, London, UK)

Brigid McDonald, B.Sc.
Project Title: Diffusion-Weighted MRI for Radiotherapy Treatment Response in Head and Neck Cancers
Home Mentor: Clifton D. Fuller, MD, Ph.D. (UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Department of Radiation Oncology, Houston, TX, USA)
Host Mentor: Marielle Philippens, MD, Ph.D. (UMC Utrecht Cancer Centre, Department of Radiotherapy, Utrecht, Netherlands)

Melissa Vincent, M.Sc.
Project Title: Diffusion properties of 13C-labeled hyperpolarized lactate
Home Mentor: Julien Valette, Ph.D. (CEA, Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, Gif-sur-Yvette, France)
Host Mentor: Myriam M. Chaumeil, Ph.D. (University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA)

Sanjeev Chawla, Ph.D.
Project Title: Investigating Potential of Multiparametric MRI using Machine Learning in Redefining Treatment Response in Patients with Glioblastoma
Home Mentor: Suyash Mohan, M.D. (University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA)
Host Mentor: Anup Singh, Ph.D. (Indian Institute of Technology, Center for Biomedical Engineering, New Delhi, India)

Klaus Eickel, M.Sc.
Project Title: Image Reconstruction of Simultaneous Multi-Slice Data at Ultra-High Field MRI without Scan-specific Receive Coil Sensitivity Calibrations
Home Mentor: Matthias Günther, Ph.D. (Fraunhofer MEVIS, Institute for Digital Medicine, Bremen, Germany)
Host Mentor: Benedikt A. Poser, Ph.D., (Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands)

Hanna Styczen, M.D.
Project Title: Evaluation of the association between enlarged perivascular spaces (as visible on magnetic resonance imaging) and subsequent rates of hippocampal atrophy in subjects at risk for familial and sporadic Alzheimer’s disease
Home Mentor: Charles R. G. Guttmann, M.D. (Center for Neurological Imaging, Brigham & Women’s Hospital)
Host Mentor: Katharina Schregel, M.D. (Universitätsmedizin Göttingen, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Germany)

Carlos Milovic, Ph.D.
Project Title: Multiscale Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping
Home Mentor: Christian Tejos (Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile)
Host Mentor: Christian Langkammer (Neuroimaging Research Unit, Medical Univ. of Graz, Austria)

Alena Schelokova, Ph.D. Candidate
Project Title: Body Array Coil Based on Novel Materials for Ultra-High Field MRI
Home Mentor: Pavel Belov (Saint Petersburg National Research University, Russia Federation)
Host Mentor: Andrew Webb (Department of Radiology, Leiden Univ. Medical Center, Netherlands)

Sila Genc, Ph.D. Candidate
Project Title: Microstructural Imaging of Childhood Brain Development at 300mT/m
Home Mentor: Marc Seal (The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia)
Host Mentor: Derek Jones (CUBRIC, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)

Milou Straathof, Ph.D. Candidate
Project Title: Excitation and Inhibition; the Yin and Yang of Functional Brain Connectivity?
Home Mentor: Rick Dijkhuizen (Center For Image Sciences, U. Medical Center Utrecht, Netherlands)
Host Mentor: Robin de Graaf (MR Research Center, Yale University, New Haven CT, USA)

Hongjiang Wei, Ph.D.
Project Title: Clinical Applications of Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping in Human Knee Joints
Home Mentor – Chunlei Liu at UC Berkeley, CA, USA
Host Mentor – Fuhua Yan at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China

Ashwini Kumnoor, M. Tech
Project Title: Design of novel gradient coil for stroke imaging at 10mT
Home Mentor – Sairam Geethanath at Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering, India
Host Mentor – Maxim Zaitsev at Universitätsklinikum Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

Michaël Belloy, M.S.
Project Title: Tackling inter-subject variability in rodent resting and stimulus-evoked functional MRI, through detection of spatiotemporal quasi-periodic patterns (QPPs)
Home Mentor – Marleen Verzhove at University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
Host Mentor – Shella Keilholz at Emory University/Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA, USA

Georgia Felicia Seemann, M.Sc.
Project Title: Diastolic function and its relationship to left atrial remodeling
Home Mentor – Einar Heiberg at Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Host Mentor – Dana C. Peters at Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

ISMRM Subcommittee
on Research Exchange

Michael Bock, Ph.D. – Chair
Radiology & Medical Physics, University Medical Center Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

Daniel Ennis, Ph.D.
Department of Radiological Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles

Kagayaki Kuroda, Ph.D.
School of Into Sci & Tech, Tokai University, Kanagawa, Hiratsuka, Japan

Zhi-Pei Liang, Ph.D.
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL