Frequently asked questions
We are constantly meeting researchers in both academia and industry, and believe that we have a pretty good idea of what kind of questions our current and future customers have.
Sharing our responses to the most frequent enquiries will hopefully help you find answers to questions you didn't even know you had — so please take a look!
If you do not find the answer you were looking for, feel free drop us a message and we will get back to you!
- Do you have experience working with researchers in my specific field?
It is likely. Our bioinformaticians come from a range of backgrounds from plant science to cancer genomics, and our customers throughout the years span almost every corner of the academic and industrial life sciences. While every research project is unique as a whole, we have probably dealt with data sets, analyses and research questions similar to yours. Upon discussing a project with you, we do want to let you know more about our experience with similar projects and customers.
- I didn't find the service or analysis I need on your website. Does that mean you do not provide it?
Our flexible service model enables us to help you in nearly any bioinformatics-related questions. As far as the analysis lists go, there are so many different possibilities that it would be impossible to list all the analyses that we can do. The easiest way to find out is to ask!
- Can I be sure that you provide results that are up to my standards?
We always conduct 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-range methods, and you can even request that we use a specific method if you want. Our science background guarantees that we understand what it takes to conduct top-quality research. You shouldn't worry, and you won’t be rejected by Nature because of us, if you’re aiming for a publication. Additionally, we provide fully formatted figures and detailed descriptions of the methods that you can 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.
Benefits of bioinformatics as a service
- I will have many bioinformatics-related needs in the future; why would it make sense for me to solve them by acquiring services?
You might think that 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, rather than 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 on a temporary basis, it is easy for us to arrange that. 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) You can easily acquire the experience of a full bioinformatics team with multiple complementary skills through us. 4) You won't have to deal with bioinformatics project management or expert supervision in the case where you are hiring a novice. 5) Hired personnel do sometimes leave for other opportunities; we believe that your acquired know-how is actually safer with us than in the head of one employee.
- Fine, you do the analysis, but will I learn anything in the process?
Yes, you will learn as much as you want. Our projects include data analysis tutorials that provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to repeat everything we did for you - from installing software to ending with the production of the final figures. You can then start experimenting with parameters to understand 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
- I might be interested in something you do, how do we start exploring collaboration possibilities?
Just let us know by sending us a message using the contact form. We'll then schedule a meeting, teleconference, or a phone call to discuss your project and specific needs. After the discussion, we will prepare a quote for you with a suggested project plan, a precise schedule, and a price. If these do not match your expectations, we can always refine the plan so that it meets your expectations fully. All you then have to do is decide if you are interested in acquiring our services.
- Would you be interested in being included in my research grant application?
Bioinformatics is a very rapidly evolving and research-driven field, and in order to keep up with all the technological advances, we do participate in selected 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.
- If you help me writing a grant application, am I required to contract you if I win the grant?
No. We can help you design high-throughput measurements and write grant applications also in the case that you are planning to hire bioinformaticians, for instance, instead of outsourcing the work to us.
- Do I have to define the analysis in detail to receive a quote?
You do not have to be able to define the contracted bioinformatics work in detail. We just have to understand how the data was generated, and what are your research questions. Then, we plan the computational analysis accordingly and provide you with a quotation based on the plan. That said, if you do have detailed specifications for the analysis, we can write an offer based on them just as well.
- How do I deliver the data to you?
The most convenient way for delivering large data, such as raw NGS files, is sending them on an external hard drive to our office (Mr Klaus Breitholtz, Genevia Technologies Oy, Hämeenkatu 14 C 33, 33100 Tampere, Finland). Just make sure you have local copies of the files as a backup before sending the data. If the files are small or you have a very fast and stable network connection, then file sharing services, or uploading the files to our server over Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), is an option, too.
About the project
- Can I change the project contents after you have begun the analysis?
To quite a great degree, yes. During the project we keep you up to date on the progress, and might wish to discuss data quality or intermediary results with you, so that we can agree on the final deliverables. We are happy to adapt to what we see in the data and to your changing requirements as long as they are in line with the resources that were allocated to the project in the original quote. You will have a dedicated project manager to be in contact throughout the project for any such inquiries.
- How much does all this cost?
The cost will depend on how much time the project requires from our side. Over the years, we have put considerable effort into setting up our computational pipelines and processes for quality control, data processing, visualization and reporting. This enables a faster analysis, even though each project will be unique and customized to some extent. These software, computing and project management resources are all worked into the price and are not invoiced separately (unless otherwise explicitly agreed). Before starting a project, we will provide you with a project plan and an estimate of the required time and costs. During the project we will keep you updated on how much time we have used up to that point, 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. One thing you can be sure of is that you will never get an unexpected invoice from us.
- How long does it take to complete my project?
After accepting our quotation, we have a lead time of a couple weeks, after which we can work full-time on your project. During the project you might want time to process the intermediary results that we present to you and discuss them with your team and collaborators before agreeing on the next steps with us, which might add 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. In most cases, the turnaround time from signing a quote for a service to receiving the final project deliverables falls within two weeks to two months.
After the project
- What exactly do I get after the project?
The short answer is: almost anything you want. The default option in a research project is a detailed project report consisting of our workflow description, method 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 also include a tutorial with them. In a software project the deliverable is naturally the software along with all the relevant documentation. Just tell us what you want and we'll deliver just that!
- What happens after we conclude a project — will you leave me with a report that I don’t understand?
We present all our findings to you before we compose the final report in order to make sure that you have understood everything we did, what the results mean, and to ensure that you have received everything you needed. Our intention is to build long-lasting collaborations so that you are never left without the bioinformatics support you need. Therefore, after the end of a data analysis project we can offer our expertise in the form of an on-going support contract to help you with any additional tasks or needs that emerge.
- Will I own all the intellectual output from my project?
Your IP stays where it belongs - with you. We withhold no rights to data or results, and naturally never reveal them to a third party.
- Do you require authorship in resulting publications?
No. Our customers sometimes ask us to coauthor, and we have been happy to do so, but authorship is never required. It is, however, a good practice to mention us, for example, in the methods section of a paper.
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