I help health researchers get grant funding.


If you’ve ever sweated over a big grant proposal for months, only to have it rank juuuuust outside the funding cutoff—you know how brutal that feels, especially when your job is on the line.

And you already know you’re not alone: NIH and CIHR's overall success rates were under 20% for 2017 (NIH stats; CIHR stats). These competitions are fierce. And it’s been like that for years. 

So how do you get yourself in the top 10-15% of applications? I mean, aside from having a rock-solid study design? (Which you do, of course.)

You write a proposal that’s clear, compelling, and unforgettable. You use strategies to set your proposal apart from the competition.

Because the truth is, even a rock-solid study design will get a big ol’ MEH from reviewers if it’s poorly explained, poorly organized, or poorly written. 

Good news: there are plenty of simple principles and strategies you can use to improve your almost-there proposal.

Guess who can help you with that?

(Ooh! Ooh! I know!)

Sarah Dobson


I’ve been working with health researchers to get grants for more than a decade. I’ve helped them win millions of dollars in grant funding, most of them in big funding competitions with success rates under 15%. I specialize in proposals to NIH and CIHR, both by working one-on-one as a consultant and editor, and as a grant writing instructor. 

I know the principles and strategies that make your proposal stand out to reviewers. 


Need help with your writing?

Download one of my free tools to get started.

Academic Editing

Improve Your Writing Style

Learn new strategies to improve your academic writing style, step by step. (Hint: it happens after you write) AND get a checklist to help you win more style points on every paper.

Grant Development

WRITE A BETTER grant Proposal

Download the grant writing checklist one person said she'd use "for the rest of [her] life." (Seriously.) It outlines what you need to do to make your proposal stand out.

If you're preparing a grant proposal for NIH or CIHR, I offer courses and one-on-one services:

Nice words from clients

I found it very helpful to have someone reading the proposal from the angle of “Is this clear? Are the messages consistent?”, etc. I was impressed by your ability to make relevant comments without having training/knowledge in the specific scientific area. From a general grant writing perspective, it also gave me some peace of mind to know that someone was carefully reading.
— MD, MSCI at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (NIH R01 proposal)
Thank you so much for your valuable help, Sarah. I just recommended your work to a colleague. You are an asset. Again thank you so much and I look forward to work with you to develop a project grant for spring.
— MD PhD at McMaster University (CIHR Foundation Grant proposal)

I've worked with clients at these institutions: