Study budgeting and forecasting models for CROs

One of the biggest challenges for a clinical research organisation (CRO) is converting leads into signed-off study contracts, particularly in countries without currently presence or where additional staff are required to cover gaps within a team.


The impact Covid-19 has had on travel restrictions means it is no longer as simple as having German clinical research associates (CRAs) cover sites in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, or Swedish CRAs covering all Nordic sites. Increasingly we are being asked to help our CRO partners quote for local CRAs and regulatory support, and factoring this into their budget proposal to provide as accurate a forecast as possible.

We are also seeing a trend towards shifting to a more unit-based model, where activities are broken down and assigned specific time-budgets which are then allocated a pricing budget. Previously, we would simply be asked to provide a rate range/rate card based on specific skills and experiences on a project-specific basis. The market has moved on from the time and materials approach, and widespread use of unit-based costing is increasing – something that contractors also prefer as it allows them to forecast their time and availability with greater accuracy.

This way of working increases precision when projecting both time and cost on a country-specific basis, as well as highlighting trends and changes at a local level. The additional data strengthen a CROs proposal, while keeping abreast of the everchanging landscape.

To find out more about how we can help you improve your forecasting accuracy and identify the right expert at the right time, contact our Business Development Director, Calum Hurley.

Get in touch to see how Upsilon Global can build a long-term, reciprocal and successful collaboration with your organisation.

get in touch