Frequently asked questions
We constantly meet researchers in both academia and industry, and believe we have a pretty good idea of what kind of questions our current and future customers have.
Sharing our responses to the most frequent inquiries hopefully helps you find answers to questions you didn't even know you had. So please take a look!
If you do not find the answer to your question, drop us a message and we will come back to you!
- 1) My team is studying X, and we might be interested in analyses A, B and C. Will you understand the key issues in my field, and do you have prior experience with the required analyses?
Our science team is led by a professor of bioinformatics, and our employees have widely varying research backgrounds from before joining us. In addition, the years of working with academic and industrial projects within the company have acquainted us with all kinds of research questions, experimental settings and measurements as well as data types and methods, of course! Although we can't know for sure in advance, it is quite likely that we have already been working on a project similar to yours.
- 2) I could not match a project type with my needs, or I didn't see the analysis I want in your lists. Does that mean you don’t do that
Our flexible service model enables us to do almost anything, and the project types just define the most typical collaboration options. As far as the analysis lists go, there are so many possibilities nowadays that it's just impossible to list all the analyses that we can do. The easiest way to find out is to ask!
- 3) Can I be sure that you provide results that are up to my standards?
We always conduct a full quality control screening of your samples so that we can give you a heads-up if we suspect that there might be something amiss with your experiments or data. The analyses themselves are conducted with top-of-the-line methods, and you can even request us to use a particular method if you want. Our science background guarantees that we understand what it takes to conduct top-quality research. You shouldn't worry, you won’t be rejected by Nature because of us, if you aim at a publication. Also, we provide fully formatted figures and detailed descriptions of the methods for you to add directly to your manuscript. If you wish to modify any figure or text, just let us know and we'll change them to your liking.
The benefits of bioinformatics as a service
- 1) I will have lots of bioinformatics-related issues in the future, why would it make sense for me to solve them by acquiring services?
You'd think hiring is a self-evident answer, and it might be — however, there are few points you should consider. 1) With us you only pay when you need a bioinformatician instead of paying for recruitment, salary, holidays, overhead, office space, computational infrastructure and software licences every day, to name but a few expenses. 2) If you ever happen to need additional bioinformaticians temporarily, it is easy for us to arrange that, or if you only need one for 2 days every second week, that too can be done with our dedicated bioinformatician project. Changing the hours is also extremely flexible. 3) In fact, you can easily acquire the experience of a full bioinformatics team with multiple complementary skills through us. 4) Because of this, you don't have to deal with bioinformatics project management or expert supervision in case you are hiring a novice. 5) And finally, hired personnel do sometimes leave for other opportunities, we think your acquired know-how is actually better safe with us than in the head of one employee.
- 2) Fine, you do the analysis, but will I learn anything in the process?
Yes, as much as you want. We offer data analysis tutorials with projects providing you with a step-by-step instructions of how to repeat everything we did from installing software and ending with producing the final figures. You can then start experimenting with parameters to learn how they affect the results, for example. Furthermore, we will give you any support you might need while attempting to replicate the results on your own.
Starting the project
- 1) I might be interested in something you do, how do we start probing collaboration possibilities
It's all quite simple actually, just let us know by sending us a message using the contact form. Then, we'll schedule a meeting, teleconference, or a phone call to discuss your project and needs. After the discussion, we will prepare you a quote with a suggested project plan, schedule and a price tag. If these do not match your expectations, we can always refine the plan such that it meets your expectations fully. Then all you have to do is decide if you are interested in acquiring our services.
- 2) Would you be interested in joining my research grant application?
Bioinformatics is a very rapidly evolving and research driven field, and to keep up with all those technological advances, we participate in select high-quality research projects with academic and industry partners. We do expect scientific excellence from the applying organizations and the research plan itself as well as a significant and novel bioinformatics component. If you have an idea, and you'd like to include us, please let us know and we may be able to help you in drafting the application as well.
About the project
- 1) Can we modify the project specifications after starting the project?
We know that in a science project new ideas emerge continuously, and you don't have to specify every little detail with us. Something interesting — or concerning — might show up in the data that requires modifying the original plan. It is not a problem. You are free to contact your project leader whenever you have an idea or question. She/he will be happy to remove, modify or add tasks to the project plan.
- 2) How much does all this cost?
The costs depend on how much actual human time the project requires from our side. We have put considerable effort over the years into setting up our computational pipelines and processes for quality control, data processing, visualization and reporting, which enables quite fast analysis even though each project is unique and customized to some extent. These software, computing and project management resources are all baked into the price and are not invoiced separately, unless otherwise explicitly agreed. Before starting a project we provide you with a project plan and estimate of required time and costs. During the project we will keep you up-to-date on how much time we have used and how much we expect the next project step to take. Together, we can prioritize the tasks before and during the project so as to maximize the cost-efficiency of the service. You will never get an unexpected invoice from us.
- 3) How long does it take to complete my project?
After accepting our quotation, we have a queue of approximately four weeks, after which we can work full time on your project. During the project you might want to digest the intermediary results we present to you and discuss them with your team and collaborators before agreeing on the next steps with us, which adds to the length of the project. However, it does not add to the cost of the project as long as we are not actively working on it. A typical turnaround time from signing a quote for a service and receiving the final project deliverables is around two months.
After the project
- 1) What exactly do I get after the project?
The short answer is: anything you want. The default option in a research project is a detailed project report consisting of our workflow description, methods descriptions, tabular results from statistical tests, and the main results with our conclusions. We can also prepare figures and text for a publication if you need them. If you are interested in a bit of data handling yourself, we can deliver all the data files, analysis scripts and a tutorial with them. In a software project the deliverable is naturally the software along with documentation. Just tell us what you want and we'll produce just that!
- 2) What happens after we conclude a project, will you leave me in trouble with a report that I don’t understand and all my questions unanswered?
We present you all our findings before we compose the final report to make sure you understand everything we did and what the results mean, and to ensure that you got everything you needed. Our intention is to build long-lasting collaborations so that you are never again left without the bioinformatics support you need. Therefore, after a data analysis project we offer our expertise in the form of an on-going support contract to help you with any additional tasks as the need emerges.
- 3) Will I own everything that comes out of my project?
Your IP is where it belongs: with you. We withhold no rights to data or results, and naturally never reveal them to a third party.
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