I help stressed-out health researchers write amazing grant proposals.

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    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 your study funded? I mean, aside from having a brilliant study design? (Which you do, of course.) That’s just the beginning.

    You write a proposal that’s clear, compelling, and unforgettable. You use strategies that get you better scores.

    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?

    (You only get one guess.)

    Sarah Dobson


    I’ve been advising health researchers on grant writing for more than a decade. I’ve helped them win millions of dollars in grant funding, primarily in big funding competitions with success rates under 20%. 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. 

    Don't learn the hard way. Skip the trial and error. Get help with your grant writing from someone who knows how to maximize your chances of success.


    I’m currently accepting registrations for the 2019 Winter/Spring cycle


    I've worked with clients at these institutions:

    Nice words from clients

    I struggle with finding time to write my grant proposal while maintaining my clinical practice. My co-investigators are also busy clinician-researchers, and it’s hard to get a thorough review from them on a deadline. Sarah gave me the prompt feedback and big-picture editing I needed, while also keeping me organized and on track. It was so helpful to have a professional grant editor from outside of our field and outside of our research group look at the grant with fresh eyes and give constructive criticism. She recommended a major structural revision to my R01 proposal, which I was able to execute within 8 weeks. The end product was vastly improved.
    — MD MPH FACS at Vanderbilt University (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)
    Thank you Sarah, the structure you suggested for my (successful) grant in 2016 is the one that I use over and over!
    — PhD at Université Laval (CIHR Project Grant recipient)
    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 a terrific writing workshop. I appreciate the supportive, non-judgemental, encouraging style that you used with the group of us in the workshop. It is the same style that I experienced when I worked with you one-on-one for my grant proposal. Your insights and clear feedback transformed my grant proposal, and the writing weekend helped me to focus and finish a book chapter that has been hanging over my head for awhile. Thank you.
    — PhD at McMaster University (CIHR Project Grant proposal)