Early Career Investigator Awards


2023 ECIA Winners

Please join us in congratulating the San José State University Research Foundation (SJSURF) 2023 Early Career Investigator Award (ECIA) recipients – Assistant Professor Hilary M. Hurst in the Physics and Astronomy Department at the College of Science and Assistant Professor Melissa Beresford in the Department of Anthropology at the College of Social Sciences.

This award recognizes tenure-track SJSU faculty who have excelled in areas of research, scholarship, and creative activity during their probationary period at SJSU. The two awardees will be honored at the 2024 Celebration of Research to be held on Thursday, April 18, 2024, at the Diaz Compean Student Union.

Please plan to join us! Register here to attend.

Drs. Hilary Hurst and Melissa Beresford

Drs. Hilary M. Hurst (left) and Melissa Beresford (right)

Dr. Hilary M. Hurst joined the Physics and Astronomy Department at the College of Science as an Assistant Professor in the fall of 2020. Within a short time, she significantly advanced quantum information science research and education both on campus and at large. Since joining SJSU, Dr. Hurst has published seven articles in peer-reviewed journals, and she has brought a total of $947K in research awards from the National Science Foundation to the campus. In addition to her research accomplishments, Dr. Hurst was key in establishing the Master of Science in Quantum Technology (MSQT) program at SJSU, which is a joint endeavor between the College of Science and the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, and she also spearheaded an NSF Research Traineeship grant, which helped to position SJSU as a leader in quantum information science research and education. Dr. Hurst’s work actively supports undergraduate research opportunities through mentorship, underpinning her student researchers' academic and professional success in a groundbreaking field.

Dr. Melissa Beresford,  Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the College of Social Sciences, joined SJSU in 2019 and has demonstrated exceptional productivity through her research and publication activity on how people use informal and hidden economic arrangements — moral economies — to cope with water insecurity amid climate change, as well as migration and urbanization. Her community-based, mixed-methods field research in California has allowed her to collaborate with other scholars to cross-culturally compare local ethnographic fieldwork findings from several sites across the world. Dr. Beresford has brought $571K in funding from the National Science Foundation as a Principal Investigator to SJSU since joining its faculty in addition to a collaboration with Arizona State University as a co-PI on a NSF grant for $350K. Dr. Beresford has co-authored 31 articles in peer-reviewed journals such as American Anthropologist; Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute; WIREs Water; Environmental Research Letters; Field Methods; and International Journal of Qualitative Methods among others. Demonstrating her commitment to student involvement and success, her Culture, Economy, and Environment (CEE) laboratory group recruits, trains, and develops undergraduate and graduate students from diverse backgrounds to gather and analyze social science data and approach social issues in a collaborative manner.

Past ECIA Winners

Congratulations to all of our previous recipients.