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About the Award

The Marsh O'Neill Award For Exceptional and Enduring Support of Stanford University's Research Enterprise presents one of the few opportunities for faculty to acknowledge publicly the support of outstanding staff members who support their research activity.

In recognition of faculty appreciation for outstanding contributions to Stanford's research mission, this award is made annually to a member of the University's Staff or Academic Staff. The award is accompanied by a $5,000 cash prize. This prestigious award was inspired by the extraordinary career of Marsh O'Neill, Associate Director of the W.W. Hansen Laboratories, 1952 - 1990. Marsh was the first recipient of this award.

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About Marsh O'Neill

Marsh O'Neill,  Associate Director  W.W. Hansen Laboratories  1952 - 1990

Marsh O'Neill, who retired March 1, 1990 as associate director of the W.W. Hansen Laboratories, has been honored with an award "for exceptional and enduring support of Stanford University's research enterprise."

The inscription on the Marsh O'Neill Award reads:

For his academic statesmanship, and service to the entire Stanford community, mentoring colleagues, advising University Officers on research policies and practices, serving with cheer and quiet cooperation on numerous University committees and task forces;

for his 38 years of devotion and loyalty, culminating in his position as Associate Director of W.W. Hansen Laboratories, where he created models of perfection in management systems which made his operation the paradigm of all research departments;

for his management of more than 700 research projects totaling more than $361 million, which fostered the beginnings of SLAC, SSRL, high temperature superconductivity, tunneling microscopy, medical accelerators, tests of Einstein's theory of relativity, free electron laser and photon research, 13 National Academy of Science members, 3 Nobel Laureates, and 750 Ph.D.s; and

for his unfailing integrity, tact, humor, and patience in serving Stanford's research enterprise, managing to miraculously and consistently keep contract officers, entrepreneurial faculty, and auditors all happy at the same time,

MARSHALL D. O'NEILL Associate Director, W.W. Hansen Laboratories, 1952-1990

is hereby designated as the first recipient of THE MARSHALL D. O'NEILL AWARD For Exceptional and Enduring Support of Stanford's Research Enterprise.

O'Neill, who has worked at Stanford since 1952 and been associate director of Hansen since 1958, said the award, made at his retirement party, "was a delightful surprise. It touches me very deeply because of my long association with the University."

He also said that he believes that much of the credit for any success he has achieved should go to his predecessor, Fred Pindar, "who instilled in me the principles of research management and support."

Robert Byer, vice provost and dean of research, called O'Neill "a marvelous University citizen in every sense of the word."

From the Stanford News, March 2, 1990

2019 Award Recipients

This year two employees have received the 2019 Marsh O’Neill Award for Exceptional and Enduring Support of Stanford University’s Research Enterprise: Nona Chiariello, staff scientist at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve; and Niraj Dangoria, associate dean in the Office of Facilities Planning and Management at the School of Medicine.

Nona Chiariello

Nona Chiariello

As the staff scientist at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, Nona Chiariello is involved in all aspects of how the Stanford community – and the regional community – interacts with the 1,193-acre preserve, which is located in the eastern foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Elizabeth Hadly, faculty director of the preserve and the Paul S. and Billie Achilles Professor in Environmental Biology in the School of Humanities and Sciences, and Anthony Barnosky, executive director of the preserve and a professor (research) of biology, wrote:

“In the 2017-18 academic year alone, there were 75 researchers conducting 60 different projects at Jasper Ridge, and Nona enabled the research of every one of them, in ways that ranged from helping them to craft proposals that maximize taking advantage of Jasper Ridge’s unique research environment, to helping them design and set up experiments – all the while preserving the unique cultural and ecological integrity that makes Jasper Ridge such as exceptional resource for Stanford.”

Niraj Dangoria

Niraj Dangoria


As associate dean of facilities planning and management for the School of Medicine, Niraj Dangoria has a long list of responsibilities: space planning, capital projects, maintenance and repairs, space rental and leasing, renovation, project management, emergency preparedness, and health and safety functions in the school’s buildings, on and off campus.

Linda Boxer, vice dean of the School of Medicine and professor of medicine (hematology), said few areas are as important and potentially contentious as research space, and no area has consistently created more headaches, anxiety, anger and disappointment than the issue of space constraints in recent years.

“It is against this background that Niraj has worked his magic – consistently, even-handedly, logically and cleverly,” she wrote. “During his tenure at the School of Medicine, I imagine Niraj has positively affected the work life of almost every faculty member and employee.”

Read more about Nona Chiariello and Niraj Dangoria.

Previous Award Recipients