University Co-op George H. Mitchell Award

Student Awards for Academic Excellence

Each spring, UT Austin, with the generous support of the University Co-op, recognizes up to five undergraduate students for superior scholarly or creative achievement. Two students receive awards of $2,500 each, two students receive awards of $5,000 each, and one student receives the top award of $12,000.

The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost provides a concurrent award of half the value of each student’s award to the academic department in which the scholarly work was supervised. The Co-op Awards Selection Committee consists of university faculty members who choose the recipients.

Deadline: March 27, 2019 (11:59 PM)


Applicants must be either a junior or senior currently enrolled at UT Austin or have received their undergraduate degree in December of 2018.  Submitted work should be finished or close to finished (e.g., a complete draft of a thesis or research paper). Previous University Co-op / George H. Mitchell Awards recipients are eligible only if the submitted work is a completely different project. Both the student application with all its supporting materials and the faculty letter of recommendation must be received by the deadline in order for the application to be considered.

The following materials must be uploaded via Interfolio:

  1. The student project (paper, thesis, publication, video, artwork, etc.) in a single digital file. If the project is a video, provide a YouTube or Vimeo link in a Word or PDF document briefly describing your project and referencing your link.
  2. A 1-2 page CV or resume highlighting activities and achievements during your years of study at UT Austin.
  3. A 1 page statement in which you place your project in the context of your educational experiences at UT Austin and your future occupational work or graduate school plans. Describe how you see the project or work for which you have been nominated fitting into your vision for yourself as a developing young scholar or artist in your field. (Limit 1 page, 12 point font.)
  4. A scanned copy of your academic summary, which is available through the Registrar’s Office at no cost.
  5. A confidential letter of recommendation from a faculty member at UT Austin. The student should request the letter from the recommender via Interfolio as soon as possible during the application process. The letter should be on departmental letterhead and should describe in detail how the applicant has demonstrated superior scholarly or creative achievement through a notable paper or thesis, research project, creative or artistic endeavor, or other product of the student’s academic work. In case of a collaborative project, describe the student’s contribution and why it is substantial. The committee will pay particular attention to the recommender's explanation of the significance of the applicant's work in the context of the relevant field of study.

All of the above materials must be uploaded and your application submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 to be considered for the 2019 awards.

Frequently Asked Questions:

May I submit more than one project? 
Students may submit only one project per year of applying for the Co-op / Mitchell award.

May I co-submit a project with another student?
Yes, co-submissions are accepted. Only one student should submit the application on behalf of the team. Only one letter of recommendation should be submitted for the team. 

Does my 1-page statement need to be double-spaced?
No, your statement does not need to be double-spaced; however, it should be limited to 1 page, 12 point font.

May I submit a project that involves research/activities not completed at UT Austin?
Yes, as long as the work was completed while you were a UT student. A letter of recommendation from a UT Austin faculty member is still required.

May I submit more than one letter of recommendation?
No, only one letter of recommendation should be submitted per application. In the event that more than one faculty member supervised your work, they may co-write a letter of recommendation.

2018 Award Recipients

Zahra Ahmed

Zahra Ahmed

Award: $12,000
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Category: STEM
Project Name: Negative Stiffness Elements for Helmet Padding Application

James Ding

James Ding

Award: $5,000
Major: Biology, pre-med student
Category: Social Sciences
Project Name: A Model for Improving Transgender Healthcare Quality

Oluwaseun Olayiwola

Oluwaseun Olayiwola

Award: $5,000
Major: Dance Studies
Category: Artistic/Creative
Project Name: A Triptych of Choreographic Experiments Understanding and Interrogating Identity

Ashlie Martinez

Ashlie Martinez

Award: $2,500
Major: Computer Science
Category: STEM
Project Name: CrashMonkey: A Framework to Systematically Test File-System Crash Consistency

John Lin

John Lin

Award: $2,500
Major: Biomedical Engineering, pre-med student
Category: STEM
Project Name: Nondestructive tissue analysis for ex vivo and in vivo cancer diagnosis using a handheld mass spectrometry system

Past Winners

Year Award Name Category
2017 $12,000 Luis Cataldo Humanities
2017 $5,000 Nathan Rebello STEM
2017 $5,000 Benjamin Stevenson Artistic/Creative
2017 $2,500 Gabrielle McRoberts Social Sciences
2017 $2,500 Bronwyn Scott STEM
2016 $10,000 Nell McKeown Humanities
2016 $3,000 Lillian Leone Social Sciences
2016 $3,000 Shelby Walford Sciences or Technology
2016 $3,000 Aydin Zahedivash Sciences or Technology
2016 $2,000 Mohnish Gandhi Social Sciences
2016 $2,000 Jaclyn Kachelmeyer Social Sciences
2016 $2,000 Macey Shay Humanities
2015 $10,000 Victoria Arnold Sciences or Technology
2015 $3,000 Ciaran Dean-Jones Humanities
2015 $3,000 Noor Momin Sciences or Technology
2015 $3,000 Thales Smith Artistic/Creative Project or Performance
2015 $2,000 Kaitlyn Kennedy Humanities
2015 $2,000 Nikita Klimovich Sciences or Technology
2015 $2,000 Nalin Ratnayeke Sciences or Technology
2014 $10,000 Lucy Kerr Humanities
2014 $3,000 Lindsay Mulford Social Sciences
2014 $3,000 Patrick Naeve Humanities
2014 $2,000 Lucy Junker Humanities
2014 $2,000 Casey Nice Humanities
2013 $12,500 Victor Vu Science and Technology
2013 $12,500 Katherine Noble Artistic and Creative
2013 $5,000 Isaac Gomez Artistic and Creative
2013 $5,000 Andrew Wortham Social Sciences
2013 $2,000 Ashty Karim Science and Technology
2013 $2,000 Leon Dean Science and Technology
2013 $2,000 Hannah Waitt Humanities