Clinical Development: 7 Reasons Why Contract Solutions Can Make The Most Sense

8-9 Minutes

Across Europe, 580 Life Sciences organizations are currently in Phase I trials. In the US, a...

By Emily Davies

Senior Content Writer

Across Europe, 580 Life Sciences organizations are currently in Phase I trials. In the US, an enormous 1,310 businesses are at this stage of clinical development. 

But there’s a question that’s plagued biotechs and med tech businesses forever: should you go down the Life Sciences contractor route or opt for the more formal CRO?

See, whether you’re a big pharmaceutical player, a nimble biotech start-up, or a modern med tech business, you’ve got unique goals, and it’s our job to help you figure out the best way to achieve them.

We understand that bringing a drug or medical device to market doesn’t just take a great deal of funding, but years of research and testing. Plus, with the costs of clinical trials rising each year, it’s easy to see why securing the right specialist expertise is essential to the success of your project, and we know whatever decision you make could shape the course of your scientific journey.

Of course, the conventional approach is to outsource to a trusted CRO, many of whom we work with ourselves. But, when looking at early phase R&D, Life Sciences contractors might just be your untapped resource.

As always, we’re here to share our insights, knowledge and experience to help you make the right call. So, in the fashion of Life Sciences’ innovation, knowledge and solutions that can change lives, we’re exploring seven reasons why specialist contractors might be the missing piece in your scientific puzzle when it comes to early-stage development.  


1.    Access Top Tier Specialist Talent

Let’s dive into the treasure trove of talent that Life Sciences contractors bring to the table.

These individuals are the real deal: experts in their field who’ve honed their skills through diverse experiences at various biotech, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies – whatever their niche. In short, these guys are seasoned professionals you want on your team!

What’s even more exciting is that this specialized talent often shines even brighter than you might find in a typical CRO. That’s because CROs, though undoubtedly valuable in their own right (and often a must post-Phase I), operate in their own constraints. Like every business, they have budgets they must adhere to and simply can’t offer the same competitive compensation that med tech, biotech, and pharmaceutical organizations can.

Specialist contractors, recognizing their unique worth, then speak to industry insiders and set their own rates. Now, this isn’t to say they’re swindling their way through; they’re simply earning what their experience and knowledge deserve, which is more than what would be possible within a CRO.

And this really is a win-win situation for early-stage trials. Specialist talent gets the compensation they deserve, and you get access to top-tier professionals who are committed, passionate, and ready to take your project to new heights.

So, when you’re looking for quality that sets your research apart, Life Sciences contractors might be the way to go. They bring the right expertise, experience, and enthusiasm that can propel your scientific endeavors beyond the ordinary. It’s all about attracting the best to achieve the best!


2.    Extend Your Runway 

Let’s talk dollars and sense because when it comes to your R&D, every penny counts!

While contractors have the freedom to set their own rates, they can actually save you money. How, you ask? Well, it’s all about those clever cost structures.

You see, with traditional CROs, they provide valuable services, but they often come with hefty price tags. They work on a project-based model with considerable upfront costs – essentially, one massive sum at the beginning of your partnership.

In contrast, when you bring a Life Sciences contractor in-house, they’re billed hourly. This means you pay for the time and expertise you need rather than shelling out a small fortune for services you might not necessarily require in early-stage development. 

Again, think of your pre-clinical and Phase I trials. These early stages of development can generally be managed internally because of their small study sizes. You may just be missing the expertise a contractor or two could help you out with.

In summary, the cost-effectiveness of Life Sciences contractors can be a game-changer when it comes to the longevity of your research budget. The flexibility allows you to manage your budget more efficiently, ensuring you invest your resources where they matter most.  


3.    Maintain Oversight

 Now, to unravel the mystery of control and oversight in Life Sciences partnerships, where decisions can be just as crucial as the molecules themselves!

So, let’s look at the scope of your options... When you decide to outsource the entire operation to a CRO, due to the nature of the arrangement, there’s a level of surrender involved. You take a back seat in day-to-day operations, trusting the CRO to complete everything on time and in line with safety and regulatory protocols.

These lines of communication can sometimes become a little foggy, and while the CRO takes control, you could lose sight of the development process. And here’s the twist: if anything goes awry during the trial, the responsibility circles back to you, and you’re held accountable for each outcome across the clinical development journey.

The difference with Life Sciences contractors is that you’re bringing them in-house, meaning they become an integral part of your team for the duration of time you require their expertise. This translates to more visibility, control and insight into each step of your project’s development.

Now, you might be wondering about the logistics – who manages these contractors?

That’s where we step in. We’re all about ensuring you reach your project goals seamlessly. So, say you need a Clinical Research Associate (CRA), for instance. While we can provide you with a top-notch CRA, we’ll also go the extra mile to understand all your project needs and match you with the very best talent you require. That means that at the same time, we can also source an experienced Clinical Trial Manager (CTM) to oversee and ensure the smooth functioning of your clinical development.


4.    Keep Project Delivery in Your Desired Timeframe

When we look at the rhythm of project delivery, this is a critical aspect of furthering your clinical developments.

Opting for a Life Sciences contractor who’s fully dedicated to your project means they’ll immerse themselves in your goals, timeline, and vision. What’s more, having someone in-house means you can set clear expectations of project milestones, track progress, and ensure each aspect hits the right mark.

In contrast, a CRO still offers a valuable service, but they’ll set their own deadlines, and often, your project may not be the only one they’re working on at any given time. Due to the nature of their operations, with multiple projects on their plate, this can sometimes lead to extended deadlines outside your control.

So, when you’re in early-phase development, contractors will be dedicated to your project and invested in its success. They understand the stakes at hand, and becoming a member of your team means they’ll be invested in meeting and exceeding expectations, just like everyone else.


5.    Decide Who You Work With

Let’s talk about the fundamentals of selecting the perfect Life Sciences contractor for your team...

At Meet, we’re here to take the load off your shoulders so you can focus on what you do best: leading ground-breaking research. Essentially, we work as an extension of your talent acquisition function, screening and interviewing an extensive network of candidates. Once we’ve identified the cream of the crop, we send them your way – individuals who we believe will be the best fit for your team and project.

Then, you’ll go through your normal recruitment process, just like you would with any permanent hire, meaning you have the power to choose who you’ll be working with on your project. You’re effectively hand-picking your dream team, each with their unique skills, ready to conquer your clinical research challenges.

The difference when you outsource to a CRO is that they’ll delegate a team to work on your project, and you won’t have much say in the matter. For the most part, their most proficient team members will already be working on larger, later-stage research projects.

So, whether you’re looking for a Clinical Research Scientist, a Regulatory Affairs Specialist, or any other Life Sciences professional, we’ve got an extensive network of contractors ready to dedicate their time to your project.


6.    Hiring Flexibility

Another fantastic aspect of hiring contractors is the flexibility it offers. Just picture this: you’ve found a contractor who fits flawlessly into your team, their skills align perfectly with your project, and they bring that extra spark of innovation you’ve been looking for.

If both you and said contractor are on the same wavelength and eager to continue your collaboration, there are no strings attached. That means you can transition them into a long-term, integral member of your team.

At Meet, we’re all about fostering fulfilling partnerships that work for both parties. So, when that magical alignment happens, and you decide to bring a contractor on board full-time, we’ve got your back. Our approach for transitioning a contractor to permanent status is designed to be flexible, with the fee reducing over time.

That’s because we believe in celebrating success, nurturing those perfect matches, allowing your team to grow organically, and ensuring you continue on your Life Sciences journey smoothly. So, whether you’re seeking short-term expertise or eyeing long-term collaboration, the choice is yours; we’re simply here to support you each step of the way.


7.    Looking Toward the Future

If we look strategically at your development timeline, Phase I trials mark the groundwork of your research journey, where you’re laying the foundation. It’s at this point where the brilliance of Life Sciences contractors shines brightest, bringing along their expertise and flexibility and helping you navigate the initial stages with finesse.

The terrain becomes much more intricate as your research progresses into Phase II and beyond. This is when partnering with a CRO makes the most sense because they’re equipped to handle the scale and complexity that Phase II and later-stage trials demand.

But here’s where it gets intriguing... If you’ve found a specialist contractor who’s been a standout performer in your earlier clinical developments, and it aligns with their career goals, there’s no reason not to keep them on board beyond Phase I.

In fact, it can be a strategic move. That’s because when a seasoned contractor stays in-house, whether that be on a contract basis or more permanently, they become your bridge to the CRO world. They can manage the CRO partnership, ensuring project quality across all areas, from medical writing and pharmacovigilance to biostatistics and regulatory. That also means that you retain insight, clarity and control over the CRO’s work, even as your project scales up.

The cherry on top? We don’t stop at Phase I. In fact, we partner with many CROs specializing in later-stage clinical development, so we’re still on hand to help you expand your team throughout the entire clinical trial process.



In the ever-evolving landscape of clinical research and development, decisions about who to bring on board can significantly impact the success and efficiency of your projects. Freelance professionals are expert partners who can impeccably integrate into your team, offering flexibility, precision and control over project timelines.

While CROs undoubtedly have their place and value in more extensive later-stage trials, contractors excel in the earlier stages, where adaptability and specialized expertise are key.

But ultimately, the route you go down depends on the unique needs of your organization and the nature of your projects. Of course, it’s not a one-size-fits-all scenario but rather a matter of finding the right balance for your specific goals and timelines.

Want to chat about it in more detail? Our team of experts are on hand to help! After all, the path to success is much clearer when you have the right partners by your side.


Book in a call with one of the team about your hiring needs.

Meet Recruitment 2022. Meet Recruitment Ltd., Meet Recruitment Inc. and Meet Personalberatung GmbH are all subsidiaries of Meet Group (No. 13556131) a company registered in England and Wales at Irongate House, 22-30 Dukes Place, London, EC3A 7LP.
Site by Venn