Meaghan Loy, MS, ALAT, SOT Associate Member and Category Director of in vivo Services at Scientist.com educates marketplace users on how to successfully create and submit proposals for in vivo services.

There are as many ways to create in vivo proposals on the Scientist.com marketplace as there are researchers to request them, so how do we ensure that all requests are being compared equally? Scientist.com has streamlined the process by enabling side-by-side comparisons of proposals across multiple vendors based on key indicators such as quality, price, supplier rating and turnaround time. This provides a client roadmap for comparing proposals and making informed decisions for their individual projects. The following are some tips for requesting, creating and reviewing proposals to ensure they meet expectations.

For Researchers

    • Utilize Scientist.com’s search functionality to select your study type. Many of our service listings have dynamic forms available that allow you to enter critical information about your study design and offer helpful examples. The more information you list in your request, the more specific and accurate the proposal. If you’re unsure of your needs, request a call with the supplier to refine your request or simply ask for a rough estimate.
    • Consider important factors that could greatly impact the price. Some quotes will include may include extra predose procedures or sample intervals, while some may be so bare bones that crucial elements are missing. Either way, here are some important questions to ask yourself.
      • Do you require dose formulation method development?
      • Are extra animals included? Are they the right strain? Are they naïve or non-naïve if applicable for species?
      • Were the number of predose clinical pathology intervals specified?
      • Are post-life procedures included if applicable?
      • How many samples are included for bioanalysis, and are there allowances for ISRs and re-assays? Do you need method development and validation? These could have a major impact on project timelines.
      • What kind of reporting is required, and is it included?
    • Review the turnaround time and ensure critical considerations are made. If you require histopathology, and only a few tissues are included in the proposal, this could add significant time at the end of the study and delay reporting.

For Suppliers

      • Call out significant details in the proposal via the “Study Objective” field or communication timeline to ensure the client is aware. Also, keep the following questions in mind.
        • Have you included predose procedures that may be required?
        • Does the requester already have a dose analysis method or a bioanalytical method that requires transfer or validation?
        • If the request isn’t very specific, have you offered your standard study design? Is a ballpark more appropriate? Consider calling this out to the client and indicate that adjustments can be made.
        • Have you included ISRs and re-assays if the study require bioanalysis?
        • Do you know what the reporting requirements are for the client? Do they impact the pricing?
      • Give as much granularity as possible in the line items. Rather than one line for “Study”, can you separate into “Study Conduct”, “Bioanalysis”, “Reporting”, etc.?
      • Call out payment milestones in the proposal. For example, if you require 50% at animal arrival, 40% at initiation and 10% at reporting, this is important budgetary information for the researcher.

For Managers

    • Price alone cannot determine the best fit for a project. The overwhelming response from researchers that use the Scientist.com marketplace is that expertise is the most critical decision-making factor when choosing a supplier.
    • Turnaround time and study initiation dates are key and can have far-reaching impacts.
    • Quality is key. Does the supplier chosen by the researcher have a history of high-quality study conduct and communication? Or, are missed deadlines and poor execution more common? Utilize our standardized RFIs to assess supplier quality and capabilities.
    • Has the researcher requested multiple proposals? If not, the project may be very specialized or have technical limitations. Alternatively, there could be experience with the compound at the chosen supplier. A slightly higher study cost could be offset by the previous completion of method development and validation.

In conclusion, communication is the key to requesting, preparing and reviewing proposals. All parties are encouraged to ask questions and share assumptions made for the proposal or project if needed, as a true side-by-side comparison is only possible when the input is sufficient. The Scientist.com marketplace is designed to connect scientists worldwide, so don’t hesitate to reach out to our Research Concierge® team no matter which side of the request you are on.