Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does GRA charge for activities?

A: Fixed price and time-and-materials cost are the two primary methods for consultancies to price their services.  These each present varying advantages and disadvantages to the client and to the consultant. For where a clear scope of work is provided, a fixed price can be ideal as the client will know what they will be paying and can budget accordingly without worrying that costs will get out of control.  However, if the scope of work changes or wasn’t clear from the beginning, then a time-and-materials basis may be more appropriate.  With this approach, the client will pay a daily or hourly rate and the consultant will send a list of hours worked together with the total fee due.  This approach is more flexible with the client 100% sure that they’ll gets the solution fully corresponding their expectations.  However, costs must be monitored carefully as they can accumulate over time.  GRA is flexible in its approach to billing.  This can be discussed at the beginning of the project with the client to agree what is most appropriate.

Q: I’m based in the USA – why should I work with a London based consultancy?

A: The biotech industry is a truly global industry and given the high risks and high costs of biopharmaceutical development, you need the most appropriate expertise that you can find.  GRA offers that expertise.  Furthermore, GRA has global networks that can provide links into academic or industrial capabilities that you’ll likely need.  GRA communicates with clients through a combination of face to face, telephone, web tools such as Skype & Webex as well as email.  GRA successfully works with clients multiple timezones working with companies across continental USA, across Europe through to Asia and Australia including companies such as Takeda, Ipsen Biopharma, Mesoblast, Themis Bioscience, FluGen & Abcam.

Q: Who will work on my project?

A: Dr. Lee Smith would speak with you initially and will likely work directly on your project.  Depending on the size of the project, other associates may need to be involved.  If an associate has more appropriate experience, we will seek your permission for that consultant to work with you.  This will never happen without your agreement.

Q: What are you qualifications?

The founder, Dr. Lee Smith has a Ph.D. and over 20 years experience working in the Biotech industry.  The GRA associates are all experienced with a minimum of a Bachelors degree and mostly Ph.D.s and many years experience in the industry. We will always discuss with you who would work on your project.  We have proven track records or success as shown in our testimonials.  Brief biographies of the GRA associates can be found here.

Q: Can you help us raise money?

A: GRA has been involved with helping client raise funds.  This can be non-diluting government funds or working with VCs.  GRA has a number of relationships with VCs where we can facilitate an introduction.

Q: Are you worth the money?

A: Yes.  We are successful for clients (see testimonials & case studies) and work to ensure that your project is successful.  Our reputation is paramount and we can only protect it by being successful for our clients.  In addition, your time is too valuable.  You may waste time and money trying to learn an activity and it still may have problems.  This is why professional help is so important in that it helps you save time and money and achieve the job at the first attempt.

Q: What sets you apart from other consultants?

A:  It’s all about results.  We are a specialist biotech consultancy with highly experienced associate consultants.  We work with both multinational organisations and small biotechs.  We provide commitment to your organisation and project.  We also make sure you have the right associate involved for the project, including the principal, Dr. Lee SmithRead here about the pros and cons of boutiques consultancies versus ‘Big’ consultancies.

Q: Can you explain the process of how I work with GRA?

A:  Every client situation is unique. However, the typical approach includes the following steps:

  • Initial non-confidential discussion to understand your requirements.
  • We put an non disclosure agreement (NDA) in place so we can talk openly.
  • We would discuss over the phone or possibly face to face to clarify the details on what you wish to achieve.
  • We will also discuss time-and-materials versus fixed costs.
  • We will send a proposal covers the scope and fees for the project.
  • We’ll begin work on your project on the agreed date.
  • We will have a clear project target and timescale in mind.  We will have agreed the frequency of teleconferences and face to face meetings as the project proceeds together with planned documents and reports.