About KEYS

The 7-week KEYS Internship program is a unique summer opportunity for motivated high school students with a strong interest in biosciences and environmental health. Click here for the full list of research interests.

2017 KEYS Internship will run from June 5th to July 21st.

After a week of training in laboratory techniques and safety, interns participate in research projects under the guidance of University of Arizona faculty and other laboratory members.

At the end of the program, KEYS interns present their research to friends, family, and the academic community at a research showcase. 

Students who participate in KEYS are enrolled, tuition free, in MCB 103 and receive 3 credits with the University of Arizona. Please see the KEYS Brochure for more information.


Eligibility Requirements

  • High school GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 grading scale
  • 16 years of age or older by June 5, 2017
  • U.S. citizenship or legal residency
  • Arizona resident

Program Costs

Tuition for the program is free. Students are required to purchase a University of Arizona CatCard for $25. Those students who wish to park on campus are urged to purchase a discounted parking permit for $69. These can be purchased from the University of Arizona Parking and Transportation Services (PTS). Out of town students will be asked to cover dormitory fees.The cost for housing is approximately $1000.

Every effort is made to ensure that interns are able to participate in the program.  Finan cial assistance is available for those who demonstrate need. 

Description of the KEYS Internship (MCB 103) - Week by Week

Week One

In week one, students learn laboratory techniques, practice reading scientific literature, communicate about science, and improve presentation and writing skills.  Interns also and hear about cutting edge research at the University of Arizona and learn about careers in science. This training runs 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

Weeks Two-Seven

In week two, students begin in their assigned laboratory, assisting with research projects approximately 40 hours a week.

Students also meet once a week for Science Seminar. During this time, students discuss their research and learn to present their research verbally and on a poster. 

In preparation for the poster session, students receive weekly assignments. These assignments are reviewed, approved, and returned to the interns with comments.

In the final days of the internship, students compile their work to produce the poster.

Week Seven

At the end of the seventh week, interns present their poster at a research showcase to friends, family, the academic community, and the general public.  

Click here for the 2016 Research Showcase program. 

The BIO5 Institute and the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center (SWEHSC) oversee all activities of the KEYS Research Internship. The program is a partnership between BIO5 and the SWEHSC as Co-Principle Investigators (Co-PIs) and the College of Science, with support from the Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) Department. Faculty from departments across campus participate by hosting students in their labs.


For those who are more focused on a clinical medicine track Click here to visit UA's Med-Start website which is a smiliar research opportunity to KEYS.

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