A simple methodology for the manufacture and calibration of polyacrylamide gel (PAG) for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) radiation dosimetry is presented to enable individuals to undertake such work in a routine clinical environment. Samples of PAG were irradiated using a linear accelerator and imaged using a 0.5 T (22 MHz) Philips Gyroscan MRI scanner. The mean spin-lattice relaxation rate was measured using a 'turbo-mixed' sequence, consisting of a series of 90 degrees pulses, each followed by acquisition of a train of spin echoes. The mean sensitivity for five different batches of PAG in the range up to 10 Gy was calculated to be 0.0285 s-1 Gy-1 for the mean spin-lattice relaxation rate with a percentage standard deviation of 1.25%. The overall reproducibility between batches was calculated to be 2.69%. This methodology, which introduces the novel use of pre-filled nitrogen vials for calibration, has been used to develop techniques for filling anatomically shaped anthropomorphic phantoms.