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AdvanSci: advancing science with scientific advice, medical writing and editing, and study management

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Innovative Support for Researchers AdvanSci: advancing science with scientific advice, medical writing and editing, and study management Daniela Grassi and Jane Fisher, Co-founders of AdvanSci Research Solutions

Preface: There are aspects of research work that are daunting. Thankfully there are research support services to help you ensure the quality and integrity of your work. We recently spoke with the co-founders of AdvanSci Research Solutions, Jane Fisher and Daniela Grassi, who support biomedical researchers, primarily based in Sweden. Whether it’s helping you understand best research practices or writing and editing of papers and grants, they provide expert guidance and support.

Tell us more about the mission of  AdvanSci?

Reproducibility and replicability are fundamental aspects of good science, but only 10 to 40% of biomedical discoveries can be reproduced [1]. It’s important to acknowledge that there will always be a portion of findings that remain irreproducible due to random chance and the inherent complexity of science, which constantly pushes the boundaries of human knowledge. 

​Nevertheless, we can enhance the likelihood of research findings being successfully reproduced by adhering to good research practices, guaranteeing that scientific discoveries are as robust and dependable as they can be!

​Our mission at AdvanSci is to improve the quality of biomedical research by providing services that make it easy and intuitive for life science companies and academic researchers to incorporate good research practices in their scientific work, thereby increasing reproducibility and minimizing research waste.

What types of support services do you offer?

Our services are divided into three main categories: scientific advice, medical writing and editing, and study management.

Our scientific advice service is incorporated into all of our other services. We employ research consultants who have PhDs and are trained in the implementation of best practices that render research more reproducible and robust, such as the EQUATOR Network reporting guidelines. Every writing and study management project that we undertake is assigned a research consultant who creates a sound scientific plan or outline for the project before a medical writer or project manager takes over. We also offer scientific advice as a standalone service.

Good scientific communication ensures transparent and reproducible science. By offering a medical writing and editing service we help researchers ensure that their manuscripts,  grant applications, study protocols, and regulatory documents are written clearly, concisely, and correctly. Our medical writers and editors are all native English speakers who hold PhDs.


Finally, we offer study management for both nonclinical studies (e.g. cell or animal experiments) and clinical trials. This helps researchers ensure that their excellent research plans are followed during the study and that their data collection is of the highest possible quality. As with all of our other services, our study managers have PhDs and are experienced in managing a variety of projects – so no matter how odd your project might be, we can probably help!

Tell us more about yourself and the backgrounds of the founders.

Jane Fisher: I completed a PhD in infection medicine in 2020 at Lund University. I have over 9 years of experience working with translational research projects encompassing a mix of in vitro, in vivo, and clinical studies. On top of that, my research focused on sepsis, a systemic condition, which meant that I had to work with just about every organ and system in the body. This varied and multidisciplinary knowledge has provided me with a great foundation for providing consulting services in a wide range of fields, as we do at AdvanSci.

Daniela Grassi: I earned my PhD in biomedicine, specializing in neuroscience, from Lund University in 2020. My research background is in basic research, focusing on brain development and disease states using cell culture techniques and various molecular methods. Additionally, I have experience working with lighting and its effects on human health and wellbeing. Currently, my primary interest is developing scalable solutions to help scientists worldwide incorporate good research practices.

What inspired you to start this company?

During our PhD studies we both discovered an interest in the field of metascience – the science of how we do science. We started a journal club where we would discuss the latest research about topics like the reproducibility crisis; research integrity; diversity, equity, and inclusion; good research practices; and open science. We gradually realized that we didn’t just want to talk about the problems in science – we wanted to help solve them. When we completed our PhDs, we decided to take the leap and start a company that would do just that. And that is how AdvanSci Research Solutions was born.

What are your most requested services at AdvanSci?

By far, writing grant applications is our most popular service. And we get it! Researchers are already so busy with their existing research. We think it’s unfortunate that some great projects don’t get funded because the researcher simply didn’t have enough time to prepare a high quality application before the deadline. Working with us can really make a huge difference for researchers as we can get started on the application in good time and work on it while they take care of their other research tasks. The high quality, well written grant applications that we produce lead to improved assessment scores and have a high success rate.

Our study management service is also popular, especially for clinical trial management. We help with all of the time consuming planning and management tasks like drafting the clinical trial protocol and other essential trial documents and coordinating meetings between sites, investigators, and other contractors. This makes sure the study startup is efficient and that the study is managed smoothly.

If a client considered working  with you, how does AdvancSci compare to other similar services? What makes your services unique?

The main thing that makes us unique is that all of our services also include our scientific advice service. Every project we work on benefits from the inclusion of both an experienced medical writer/project manager and a research consultant. By involving a research consultant with a deep knowledge of good research practices we ensure that, in addition to being well written and well managed, each project is also scientifically sound and in line with the best practices in the field. We believe this combination gives better results than can be achieved by a medical writer or study manager alone. For example, grant applications that are based on a sound scientific plan that is communicated well get better assessment scores and are more likely to get funded. Scientific manuscripts that are well written and that follow the appropriate reporting guidelines are more likely to be accepted and to have positive reviewer comments.

Do you work with researchers globally, or do you aim to?

So far our Swedish customers have been keeping us busy! But, since we typically work remotely, we can help anyone, anywhere. We do aim to expand globally and we encourage anyone who needs our help to reach out, regardless of which country or time zone they are in!

How many people work with you at AdvanSci? Tell us more about your team – their expertise and responsibilities?

Apart from the 2 co-founders we also have 3 part-time employees. Our small team includes a medical writer with >15 years of experience, a research consultant/project manager with >15 years of experience, and a new medical writer/research consultant who is a recent PhD graduate.  Everyone at the company has a PhD in life sciences and three of us are native English speakers. We also have a strong network of subcontractors with expertise in statistics, medical writing, and regulatory affairs.

Tell us about a service you provided for a client recently that you’re proud of.

We recently helped several of our clients score some larger grants of 15-20 million SEK (~1.4-1.8 million USD), which we are quite proud of!

Reference:

[1] European Commission:

https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/6bc538ad-344f-11eb-b27b-01aa75ed71a1

Acknowledgment

Special thanks to Jane Fisher and Daniela Grassi for taking the time to share more about AdvanSci.

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