Client Engagement Model

client engagement model

Client Engagement Model

Through our client engagement model, we strive to become an integral part of your research team. We are long-term partners who will be by your side along the different stages of your research projects. The main points of our engagement include:

  • Low-risk engagement: In this context, we propose an annual engagement model that gives your team access to GenoFAB’s entire expertise in synthetic biology informatics. The annual engagement automatically renews for the next year. To limit your risk, you may terminate the engagement with a 30-day notice.
  • Scope of engagement: The scope of the engagement is based on your expected need for computational support. This estimate is based on the size of your team and the nature of your project. You can either pay month to month or get a discounted rate if you pay in advance for a full year of our services.
  • Adjusting the scope of the engagement: After working together for a few months, you will have a better sense of how we can help your team. It may be advantageous in the long run to increase the scope of the engagement. We can increase the scope of the engagement at any time. We will create a new annual engagement plan and you will get credit for the unused months under the existing contract. If your computational needs decrease over time, just notify us at least 30 days before the engagement anniversary. We will scale down the scope of the engagement.
Schedule a phone call or send us an email to learn how GenoFAB can help you.

Comparing Project-Based and Retainer-Based Engagements

Most bioinformatics consultants are hired for a specific project. GenoFAB works on a retainer basis. The main difference between project-based and retainer-based engagements are summarized below:


  • Well-defined scope and services
  • Clear, short-term deliverables
  • Shorter timeline
  • One-time needs
  • Consultant may not be available when needed


  • Broad or unclear scope & services
  • A broader range of services
  • Longer timeline
  • Ongoing needs (there is always work to be done)
  • Consultant is available when needed

Why a retainer makes more sense for research informatics

Retainers are ideal arrangements for getting ongoing support and continually improving your business. A retainer makes the most sense when the services are ongoing, and it isn’t clear exactly what will need to be done at any given time. Your research activities are ongoing and always depend on a robust informatics infrastructure.

  • Broad or unclear scope of engagement: Research is an iterative process. It is rarely possible to completely specify the solutions before starting the development. Retainers are well-suited for “as needed”, ongoing, or exploratory projects. A pilot project leads to a new experiment which leads to a new data set that calls for an improvement of the data analysis pipeline.
  • Broad range of services: Most retainer arrangements use a broad number of our capabilities and skills. Most engagements will require a combination of software development, data analysis, systems administration, training, and technical support. When it’s hard to define the range of services that may be needed, a retainer makes the most sense because it normalizes the rates across all team members, making the budget more predictable and simpler to track.
  • Longer timeline: Retainers are best for projects that involve ongoing service over a longer timeline. We typically require a 1-year commitment but would consider shorter engagements for new clients. However, a long engagement is often needed to accommodate the iterative nature of research programs.
  • Ongoing needs: Research does not have a start and end dates. Since it is an ongoing function of the enterprise, a retainer makes the most sense. Servers need to run 24/7. Data flows need to remain synchronized with experimental processes. Skills and capabilities often need to be mobilized quickly on an as-needed basis in response to developments that could not have been anticipated.
  • Needs are prioritized over projects:  All our clients have informatics needs but many of them do not have the internal expertise to break down these needs into individual projects. This is where we can add value. By staying aware of our client’s evolving needs, we are able to suggest individual projects. Some of the projects address the most pressing issues. Others are support strategic developments.
  • Budgetary considerations: Because of the nature of a retainer, the budget is a key consideration in whether it makes sense. Since most retainers involve a large area of responsibility, wide scope of services, and many team members, the type of project that makes sense on a retainer is going to be fairly large by nature. Typically, a retainer starts to make sense when the scope of the engagement is comparable to the cost of a full-time employee.


Schedule a phone call or send us an email to learn how GenoFAB can help you.