Martina Schmidt, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Extramural Activities
Dr. Martina Schmidt is the director of the Division of Extramural Activities (DEA) at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). She plans, leads, and directs the activities of scientists and technical support personnel within DEA to ensure quality, objectivity, and accountability in the grants and contracts, peer review, and committee management processes. Dr. Schmidt also directs and coordinates activities to evaluate the overall performance of the Center’s grant review processes and allocation of resources. She is the executive secretary of the National Advisory Council for Complementary and Integrative Health, which provides second-level peer review of all grants assigned to NCCIH and provides input and feedback to the Center on all programs, initiatives, and concepts.
Previously, Dr. Schmidt served as director of the NCCIH Office of Scientific Review. Starting in that role in 2016, she directed and coordinated all activities related to the peer review of grant applications for investigator-initiated research, small business, fellowship, and career development training awards, as well as NCCIH-specific funding announcements and center programs. She directly oversaw the review of numerous National Institutes of Health (NIH)-wide initiatives including the NIH Pragmatic Trials Collaboratory and the Helping to End Addiction Long-term® Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative®. She also served as the referral officer for NCCIH. In that capacity, she assigned applications to NCCIH study sections and interacted with referral officers across NIH, negotiating appropriate funding Institute assignment of submitted applications. Dr. Schmidt has a strong interest in review policy and is part of NIH’s Review Policy Committee. For several years she chaired an NIH-wide committee focused on defining core competencies and key behaviors inherent to the scientific review officer (SRO) position as well as identifying and organizing associated trainings for NIH scientific review staff. She joined NCCIH in 2005 as an SRO. In this capacity, she administered the scientific review of applications submitted to NCCIH in response to its various funding announcements with a primary focus on the review of applications submitted in response to NCCIH’s Center programs and natural products funding initiatives.
Dr. Schmidt received her Ph.D. in microbiology from University of Wuerzburg, Germany, in 1997. She left Germany for a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Linda Wolff at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). During her time at NCI, Dr. Schmidt worked on the proto-oncogene c-Myb and its involvement in myeloid leukemogenesis. In 2004, she joined the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) as an SRO intern in the Oncology Internal Review Group. During her time at CSR, she had the opportunity to familiarize herself with the review of different application mechanisms as well as with the working styles of different study sections.