The Benefits of Outsourcing Scientific Research
Outsourcing scientific research gives universities and colleges the flexibility to adjust the scope and focus of their research to fit new opportunities or priorities. When done in-house, changes to scientific focus can take months to implement, and can require extensive capital investments, hiring new personnel, and internal politics. Outsourcing eliminates these problems. Instead, they can focus on other pressing matters.
Historically, universities have organized research around postdocs and graduate students. These individuals are inexpensive and provide the human resources necessary to conduct research. They form the backbone of academic science. However, the growing use of outsourcing has raised concerns among scientists and academic institutions. Some researchers believe that the increased use of outsourcing will lead to fewer graduate student slots and postdoc positions.
An increasingly popular option for outsourcing scientific research is to use a web-based platform such as Contract Laboratory. This platform was created by a former employee of the US Food and Drug Administration and aims to make scientific research outsourcing easy and efficient. Unlike traditional marketplaces, Contract Laboratory is an open bulletin board where contract research organizations and research labs can browse requests and quote on their services. It has been credited with helping facilitate over 80,000 scientific requests worldwide. Its customers include universities, governments, and large corporations.
Outsourcing scientific research has many benefits for companies looking to launch new products and brands. A scientific research service provider can help companies collect scientific data and understand its importance. By offshoreing this type of research, companies can reduce costs and improve quality. Further, they can benefit from the diverse skills and expertise of scientific researchers. With the increasing globalization of technology, many companies now realize the potential of outsourcing scientific research to an offshore provider.
Many companies underestimate the costs of training staff and software used for research. Many of these costs are invisible, as they are outside the research budget according to accounting metrics. Moreover, many simple research projects don’t require the services of a full-service research agency. A quick online survey can be done by staff members with limited or no research experience.
Many universities and research labs have begun outsourcing scientific research. While outsourcing has many benefits, it also limits the freedom of research. It is important for scientists not to lose sight of why they conduct their research and whether or not they are contributing to the preservation of the natural world. Ultimately, science is about solving problems.
In the past, many companies had in-house scientists who carried out their own discoveries. Today, many of those projects are being outsourced to private companies or academic institutions. The number of collaborative papers published in Nature Index increased from 12,672 in 2012 to 25,962 in 2016. Ninety percent of corporate papers included a co-author from a government or academic institution.