Pricing And Service Tracks

Note: This page was prepared for academic customers. Clients from the biotech / pharmaceutical / therapeutic / molecular diagnosis industries, please visit this web site instead.

The Three Service Tracks

The bioinformatics service work we perform generally falls into three service tracks.

Track 1:  This track is also called routine analysis, and it includes (1) processing and basic analysis of data for common next-generation sequencing (NGS) applications, including (a) RNA-seq, when a reference genome is available, (b) ChIP-seq alike, including ChIP-seq for transcription factors, histone modifications, and RNA Pol II, and a cluster of similar applications including DNase-seq, FAIRE-seq, MNase-seq, and CHIA-PET etc., (c) whole-genome resequencing, exome sequencing, and targeted resequencing (e.g., cancer panel sequencing), and (2) processing and basic analysis of data obtained from common microarrays, including (a) gene expression microarrays (Affymetrix, Agilent or another common platform), (b) SNP arrays (Affymetrix) and arrayCGH (Illumina) for copy number variation (CNV) analysis, and (c) DNA methylation microarray (Illumina or Agilent) for DNA methylation analysis. For this track of bioinformatics work, we will quote by sample numbers, and we guarantee that all work is performed properly and correctly.

Track 2:  This track covers all engineering-oriented customized work, i.e., bioinformatics projects with well-defined scale and scope, including: development of customized pipelines consisting of multiple established steps, projects requiring extensive interpretation beyond routine informatics needs, complex analyses that involve more than one type of NGS data (e.g., combined analyses of RNA-seq and ChIP-seq data), work involving developing software solutions (i.e., developing a software package with well-defined specifications), database development, and web service development. For this track of work, we would provide a flat-rate quote, and we guarantee that all work is performed properly and correctly.

Track 3:  This track covers all research-oriented customized work, i.e., projects of exploratory nature, that are hypothesis-driven, and/or involve high level of uncertainty. These projects often embroil untested concepts or procedures, and their execution involves trial-and-error style testing of multiple strategies, methods and/or configurations. Back-and-forth discussion with the researcher is necessary about adjusting strategies and methods while the project is being carried out. Due to the research nature of these projects, we cannot guarantee that the work will be completed successfully in the sense that it will necessarily lead to results expected by the researcher - and in fact, often times it is not even possible to specify before-hand what the expected results are. For this track of work, we had, in the past, quoted with an hourly rate. Recently, we have started to provide flat-rate quotes for Track 3 projects. This is difficult and risky on our end, due to the very nature of the research-oriented projects: if we underestimate the amount of work involved, we will suffer great losses... If your project is of Track 3 category, please advise us whether you prefer a flat-rate quote or an hourly quote.

How Much Will I Pay, Anyway?

Unfortunately, there isn't a straight-forward answer to this question - not until we have the chance to understand what your project involves. Most projects we have completed involve some customized (Track 2 or Track 3) components, and project size varies greatly. Summary statistics of our completed projects and poll results might help you gain some sense of what to expect: in the first year of our operation (between 2013 and 2014), the average cost for us to complete a project was ~$7,500, and the median cost was ~$8,200. The average length of time it took for us to complete a project was 7 weeks, and the median length of time was 8 weeks. A poll conducted in mid-year 2014 suggested that an alternative way of completing the project (i.e., identifying a local bioinformatician and have him/her do it) would have cost the researcher an average of $42,000, and would have taken an average of 4.5 months of time. Thus, our services would represent about 82% saving in cost and about 64% saving in time.

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