A multishot partial-k-space EPI technique is presented and validated by fMRI at high spatial resolution. High-resolution phase maps corrected by phase-encoded reference scans have less off-resonance effects. Phantom studies demonstrate that this method can substantially improve partial-k-space EPI image formation. BOLD fMRI at submillimeter spatial resolution (156 x 156 x 2000 microm(3), 0.049 microl) was achieved in a rat whisker barrel stimulation model using this technique. The study included eight rats, five of which were administered an intravascular contrast agent (monocrystalline iron oxide nanocolloid (MION)) after the BOLD experiments. In two rats the highest BOLD responses were in the deep layers (IV-VI), and in six rats the highest responses were on the surface and in the deep cortical layers. Most of the pixels that exhibited high BOLD responses had high blood volume weightings. The benefits of this technique are expected to increase for high-resolution fMRI at higher magnetic fields, where T(2) (*) is shorter.