TAMEST Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards

O'Donnell Awards
The Edith and Peter 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 for the 2021 O’Donnell Awards is now open. All nomination applications and letters of support must be received by April 30, 2020. If you have any questions, please contact Christine McCoy at cmccoy@austin.utexas.edu or (512) 471-3979.

Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards Informational Webinar

TAMEST is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, March 24 at 2PM CST to provide an informational session for those who are interested in learning more about the O’Donnell Awards nomination process, hear what the awards selection committee is looking for when choosing recipients, and provide participants with an opportunity to ask questions before submitting their nominations. Register for the Webinar >

Nomination Guidelines and Application

TAMEST is now accepting nominations for the 2021 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards. The deadline for submitting nominations is April 30, 2020.

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 2021 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.

2021 Science Award - Biological Sciences

The O'Donnell Awards Selection Committee will give preference to nominations for research in the biological sciences for the 2021 science award. The committee will give preference to nominations for research in the physical sciences for the 2022 science award.


The deadline to submit 2021 nomination materials is April 30, 2020.


For questions, refer to the Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards FAQ Guide. For additional questions, contact Christine McCoy at cmccoy@austin.utexas.edu or (512) 471-3979.

2020 O’Donnell Awards Recipients

2020 O'Donnell Awards

Changing the future of Alzheimer’s Disease. Utilizing crystals to produce drugs for kidney stones and malaria. Understanding previously unobserved functions of our universe. And pioneering the evolution of wound care. 

These are the discoveries by Texas’ rising stars in research being honored with the 2020 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards by TAMEST. Learn more >

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