TAMEST Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards

O'Donnell Awards

The O’Donnell Awards annually recognize rising Texas researchers who are addressing the essential role that science and technology play in society, and whose work meets the highest standards of exemplary professional performance, creativity and resourcefulness.

The O’Donnell Awards acknowledge outstanding achievements by Texas-based researchers in four categories: medicine, engineering, science and technology innovation.

Each award includes a $25,000 honorarium and an invitation to present at TAMEST’s Annual Conference each January.

The call for nominations is open for the 2020 O’Donnell Awards. Submissions will be accepted through April 30, 2019. If you have questions about the awards, please contact Cindy Kralis at ckralis@austin.utexas.edu or (512) 232-8495.

Nomination Guidelines and Application

TAMEST is now accepting nominations for the 2020 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards. The deadline for submitting nominations is April 30, 2019.

Nomination Guides

For more detailed information on submitting a nomination, download the appropriate guide below:

General Guidelines

  • Nominators may only designate one award category. The O’Donnell Awards Selection Committee reserves the right to move a nominee into a different category if they feel the nomination is more suitable for that category.
  • Past nominees may be re-nominated by simply checking the “yes” box in the re-nomination section at the top of the nomination form. Although not required, additional or updated information may be submitted for consideration in the 2020 review process.
  • Eligible nominators include TAMEST members, university presidents, chancellors, provosts, vice presidents for research, deans or industry executives.
  • If the committee elects to recognize more than one individual in a field, the $25,000 honorarium will be divided evenly among the winners.

Selection Process

A committee of TAMEST members will evaluate nominations and select finalists in consultation with a panel of National Academies members from outside of Texas and a committee of Texas Nobel Laureates. TAMEST’s Board of Directors provides final approval of the award recipients.

2020 Science Award - Physical Sciences

The O'Donnell Awards Selection Committee will give preference to nominations for research in the physical sciences for the 2020 science award. The committee will give preference to nominations for research in the biological sciences for the 2021 science award.


The deadline to submit 2020 nomination materials is April 30, 2019.


If you have questions or need more information, please contact Cindy Kralis at ckralis@austin.utexas.edu or (512) 232-8495.

2019 O’Donnell Awards Recipients

2018 O'Donnell Awards

Changing our understanding of cancer. Creating new molecules. Discovering new ways that bacteria in the body can affect whether or not we get sick from viruses. And developing technology that results in lower levels of pollution and better fuel economy for vehicles.

These are the discoveries by Texas’ rising stars in research being honored with the 2019 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards by TAMEST. Learn more >

Technology Innovation

Xiaoqin Elaine Li

Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards 10th Anniversary

2016 marked the 10th anniversary of the O’Donnell Awards. Over $1 million has been awarded to dozens of recipients in the categories of medicine, engineering, science and technology innovation since the inception of the program. The awards are named in honor of Edith and Peter O’Donnell who are among Texas’ staunchest advocates for excellence in scientific advancement and STEM education.

O’Donnell Awards Supporters

The Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards Endowment Fund was established in 2005 through the generous contributions of the following individuals and organizations:

  • Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Altshuler
  • Anonymous (2)
  • AT&T Foundation
  • Austin Industries, Inc. and William T. Solomon, Former President, CEO and Chairman
  • Julie and Louis A. Beecherl
  • Melanie and Tim Byrne
  • Mr. and Mrs. W. Plack Carr Jr.
  • William P. and Rita Clements Jr.
  • Collins Family Foundation
  • Mr. and Mrs. Edward A. Copley
  • The Cullen Foundation
  • Cullen Trust for Health Care
  • Cullen Trust for Higher Education
  • Dell Inc.
  • Hunt Consolidated, Inc.
  • Kodosky Foundation
  • The Eugene McDermott Foundation
  • The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation
  • The Rodger Meier Family
  • Joyce and Harvey Mitchell
  • National Instruments
  • Edith and Peter O’Donnell
  • Margot and Ross Perot
  • Caren H. Prothro & The Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation
  • Rowling Foundation
  • Southwestern Medical Foundation
  • Ron and Phyllis Steinhart
  • Susser Family Foundation in Honor of Mr. and Mrs. Ron Steinhart
  • Temple-Inland
  • Texas Instruments Foundation
  • TXU Energy
  • Valero Energy Foundation
  • Dr. and Mrs. Kern Wildenthal
  • Cheryl and Sam Wyly
  • Dee and Charles Wyly
  • Zachry Foundation