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Finding Success with FSPs

Kathy Bradrick
Ershlena McDaniel
Lisa Stetler 
July 03, 2023 3 min read

Answers to Your Questions about the Functional Service Provider Model

Support your clinical research with a single person or an entire team.

Summary: This blog post sheds light on the functional service provider (FSP) model offered by Catalyst Flex, which is designed to be client- or Catalyst-managed and can be a single resource or an entire team.

The FSP model helps increase project efficiency and reduce learning curves, while also minimizing operational friction and oversight costs.

A successful FSP team or individual contributor values mentoring, continuous learning opportunities, effective communication, trust, accountability, and empowerment. Although widely used and accepted in clinical research, variants in FSP definitions and implementations from organization to organization are rampant, causing confusion and misconceptions amongst teams and sponsors. Therefore, biotech companies must ask fundamental questions about the trial’s specific needs and when outlining them with recruiters when considering FSP opportunities.

You are not alone if you have ever wondered what the “F” in FSP stands for. FSP, or functional service provider, is widely used in the clinical research industry, but its meaning varies between organizations. Inspired by a recent paper presented at PharmaSUG 2023, this blog post sheds light on FSP models and roles to help our customers better understand how they can benefit from this specialized field. 

The FSP model offered by Catalyst Flex is a multi-therapeutic solution designed to be client- or Catalyst-managed and can be a single resource or an entire team. Leveraging the expertise of our highly specialized resources helps increase project efficiency and reduce the time and breadth of learning curves.  

FSPs can minimize operational friction and oversight costs, streamlining processes and allowing for swift adaptations when needed. Embedding FSP resources into the sponsor team promotes standardization and aligns with the sponsor’s systems, processes, and standard operating procedures (SOPs). 

A successful FSP team or individual contributor values mentoring, continuous learning opportunities, effective communication, trust, accountability, and empowerment. FSP roles can vary, ranging from using client systems and SOPs to driving efficiency through a single platform. Some FSPs become experts in a particular focus area, while others focus on one disease or therapeutic area, emphasizing long-term submissions rather than individual projects. These roles often foster a deeper connection and investment in the client and their product. 

Although widely used and accepted in clinical research, variants in FSP definitions and implementations from organization to organization are rampant. The lack of uniformity can create confusion and misconceptions amongst teams and sponsors. Therefore, biotech companies must ask fundamental questions about the trial’s specific needs and when outlining them with recruiters when considering FSP opportunities. 

Catalyst Flex operates in a culture-first environment that offers tremendous career growth and engagement in FSPs. Follow us on LinkedIn to learn more or contact us at hello@catalystcr.com

Authors:  Kathy Bradrick, Ershlena McDaniel, and Lisa Stetler 

F in FSP-1