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. Since 2006, 15 O’Donnell Awards recipients have been elected to one of the National Academies.

The call for nominations for the 2022 O’Donnell Awards is now open. All nomination applications and letters of support are due by April 30, 2021. If you have any questions, please contact Christine McCoy at cmccoy@austin.utexas.edu or (512) 471-3979.

2021 O’Donnell Awards Recipients

2020 O'Donnell Awards

Opening up new types of treatment for addiction and eating disorders. Utilizing nanotechnology to provide solutions for water sustainability and energy storage. Discovering the links between cellular pathways and cancerous cell growth. Understanding how soil and nature can help reduce our carbon footprint.

These are the discoveries by Texas’ rising stars in research being honored with the 2021 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards by TAMEST. Learn more >

Edith and Peter O'Donnell Awards Informational Session

Join TAMEST for an informational session on the Edith and Peter O'Donnell Awards on Thursday, March 25, 11–11:45 a.m. Central Time.

Register today to join 2022 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards Committee Chair Ann Beal Salamone (NAE) to learn more about the nomination process and hear what the awards selection committee is looking for when choosing recipients. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions during the session.

Nomination Guidelines and Application

TAMEST is now accepting nominations for the 2022 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards. The deadline for submitting nominations is April 30, 2021.


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 2022 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.

2022 Science Award - Physical Sciences

The O'Donnell Awards Selection Committee will give preference to nominations for research in the physical sciences for the 2022 science award. The committee will give preference to nominations for research in the biological sciences for the 2023 science award.


The deadline to submit 2022 nomination materials is April 30, 2021.


For questions, contact Christine McCoy at cmccoy@austin.utexas.edu or (512) 471-3979.

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


TAMEST The Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas