The seven week KEYS Research Internship Program is a unique summer opportunity for motivated Arizona high school students with a strong interest in bioscience, engineering, environmental health, or biostatistics to work side-by-side with top faculty in University of Arizona research labs.
After initially training in laboratory techniques and safety, interns will participate in innovative research projects under the guidance of UA faculty and other lab members, including current university students. Past interns have assisted in creating better ways to detect and treat diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, asthma, and diabetes; exploring the effect of contaminated water sources on populations and the environment; studying plants and animals to determine their impact on ecosystems; and analyzing the role genes play in individual human health. At the close of the program, KEYS interns present what they’ve learned and experienced to friends, family, and the academic community at a public research showcase.
“This program provided me with the opportunity to experience real science. So often in high school science courses boil down lab work into a 50-minute cookie cutter example of what the scientific method should be. KEYS allowed real hands on involvement with science where I could test my own hypothesis, use real tools of the trade, and experience the real life of a researcher. I am forever grateful for the opportunity I had in KEYS.”
KEYS Alumni 2013
Since 2007, 330 students have completed the KEYS internship program. As of the 2015-2016 school year, 24% of KEYS alumni still attend high school. 78% of alumni are now college undergraduates, and of those, 56% have gone on to graduate, pharmacy, or medical school. 75% of KEYS alumni chose to stay in Arizona for college, with the majority of those attending UA.
Many high school students interested in the biosciences are never able to practice and contribute to actual hands-on research. They learn about science only through textbooks. Through KEYS, we have the unique privilege of providing real-world applications that have the potential to spark intellectual and creative curiosity. Interns have an opportunity to pursue their passion for research while exploring their academic, professional, and personal goals.
The BIO5 Institute and affiliated staff from the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center (SWEHSC) oversee all activities of the KEYS Research Internship. 50% of KEYS annual programmatic funding comes from generous supporters including individuals, families, companies, foundations, and various UA faculty, departments, and colleges. The other 50% is supported by the UA’s BIO5 Institute.
Questions, contact Kelle Hyland, Outreach Program Coodinator, at 520-626-6192.
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.