/ Biochemistry consultant rates

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crossdressingrodney - on 06 Feb 2013
Fairly specialised one this, but I know there are a few university biology/chemistry folk on here.

After a few years' break, my wife's got some work doing 3D reconstruction of cryo-electron microscopy images. She's got PhD and post-doc experience, and the last image she constructed went straight into Nature, so she must be pretty good at it.

Trouble is we have no idea what the going rate for this sort (or any sort) of consultancy work is. Can anyone give us a clue?
In reply to crossdressingrodney: Call out a plumber, see what they charge, and halve it...
janiejonesworld - on 06 Feb 2013
In reply to crossdressingrodney: at least 10-12 per hour from the people I know
In reply to janiejonesworld: OK, call the plumber and quarter it...
Philip on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to crossdressingrodney:

I'm pretty sure Nature go on quality of the work not the pictures you submit. Having said that I missed out on the front cover of journal of the american chemical society because I was on holiday and couldn't send them a nice looking picture for it.

Depends on who she's consulting for. If it's a university then you should be able to get a sort of technician/demonstrator rate - basically what you'd pay a PhD student to do some teaching. 10 years ago I would have thought 25/hour seems fine, so perhaps 35.

If it's for commercial then much more. They're avoiding a lot of costs to acquire the skill, you'd probably be better charging a fixed cost for a given job. I'd say 200/hour worked - but really that would exclude any buggering around - so if it takes 4 hours of sitting in front of an image processing package and then just 1 hour of extracting and analysing data you'd only get 1 hour as the program could run while you worked for other clients.
Dauphin - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to Philip:

If it's for commercial then much more. They're avoiding a lot of costs to acquire the skill, you'd probably be better charging a fixed cost for a given job. I'd say 200/hour worked - but really that would exclude any buggering around - so if it takes 4 hours of sitting in front of an image processing package and then just 1 hour of extracting and analysing data you'd only get 1 hour as the program could run while you worked for other clients.

Amazing. I wish mechanics & plumbers took this approach to working out their rates.

D
Simon_Sheff - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to crossdressingrodney:
> Fairly specialised one this, but I know there are a few university biology/chemistry folk on here.
>
> After a few years' break, my wife's got some work doing 3D reconstruction of cryo-electron microscopy images. She's got PhD and post-doc experience, and the last image she constructed went straight into Nature, so she must be pretty good at it.
>
> Trouble is we have no idea what the going rate for this sort (or any sort) of consultancy work is. Can anyone give us a clue?

Are you really asking for yourself :-)

cb294 - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to crossdressingrodney:

My University recently negotiated with a medium sized biotech company about selling /licensing a patent they hold where I was the original inventor.

The company asked whether I would consider consultancy to get the thing running at their place, and I asked for 400 / hour (roughly the going rate for an experienced lawyer).

In the end the company declined for other reasons, but they did not even blink at my request.

CB
mkean - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to cb294:
The company asked whether I would consider consultancy to get the thing running at their place, and I asked for 400 / hour (roughly the going rate for an experienced lawyer).
In the end the company declined for other reasons, but they did not even blink at my request.


Seems pretty reasonable for something genuinely complicated, I think my time was billed at around 90/h for non-technical stuff and more for flavour or process development that actually vaguely required some skill.
crossdressingrodney - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to Simon_Sheff:
> Are you really asking for yourself :-)

Ha, I wish I had a first-author nature paper to my name!
Sarah G on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
And the rest! try being charged 360 per HALF hour plus VAT for size.....

Sxx
crossdressingrodney - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to mkean, cb294 and Phillip:

OK, thanks. It's for a university research group, so she can't expect to get the going commercial rate.

The work basically requires a whole PhD's worth of skills and knowledge, so it not something that could be farmed off to students to do in their spare time.

Sounds like something like 25/hour for the donkey work and 50-100/hour for the skilled work might be appropriate?
New POD - on 07 Feb 2013
Price is related to how desperate the customer is for your services and not someone else.

To give you a Clue about Freelance work in Aerospace Engineering.

Cad Jockey 28 an Hour
Mechanical Design Engineer 35 an hour
Noise Specialist 40 an hour.
Control Software safety Critical 45 an hour
Manufacturing Engineer 32 an hour
6 Sigma Black Belt 35 an hour

The thing is that there is a shortage of experienced and qualified engineers, so the rates are going up.

How many people are UNDERemployed in your chosen field ?
Taurig - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to crossdressingrodney:

If it's for a university research group, I would hazard a guess that the exact rate will depend on the budget for that particular project, how many hours the job is likely to take, and also how much cash the supervisor brings in in general. I have no idea about your wife's particular field, but 25 an hour seems reasonable given that Postgrad students generally get 10-12 for 'extracurricular' activities. If the job will only take a few hours tops then maybe 50-100 p/hour isn't unreasonable, but if it's a longer term job that may be optimistic going by the financial habits of the supervisors I know!
crossdressingrodney - on 07 Feb 2013
In reply to Taurig:

Cool, thanks.

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