A silicon-on-insulator (SOI) field-effect transistor (FET) and a method for making the same are disclosed. The SOI FET is characterized by a source which extends only partially (e.g. about half-way) through the active layer wherein the transistor is formed. Additionally, a minimal-area body tie contact is provided with a short-circuit electrical connection to the source for reducing floating body effects. The body tie contact improves the electrical characteristics of the transistor and also provides an improved single-event-upset (SEU) radiation hardness of the device for terrestrial and space applications. The SOI FET also provides an improvement in total-dose radiation hardness as compared to conventional SOI transistors fabricated without a specially prepared hardened buried oxide layer. Complementary n-channel and p-channel SOI FETs can be fabricated according to the present invention to form integrated circuits (ICs) for commercial and military applications.