KEYS Student looking through microscope viewfinder

KEYS Research Internship

The BIO5 Institute’s annual KEYS program is one of Arizona’s premier training programs for high school students interested in developing STEM skills. Over the course of seven-weeks each summer, interns gain experience working on immersive, real-world projects under the mentorship of University of Arizona scientists.

Timeline of the KEYS experience from Family Night to Research Showcase

Prior to engaging in research, KEYS interns are immersed in a one-week crash-course in a variety of bioscience and data science techniques, as well as the foundations of science literacy to ensure they have the base knowledge necessary to begin their assigned projects. KEYS interns are paired with leading UArizona researchers spearheading innovative projects that span multiple disciplines. Faculty, university students, and other lab personnel mentor the students to provide an invaluable opportunity to these budding scholars. At the close of the program, KEYS interns present what they’ve learned and experienced to friends, family, and the academic community at a research showcase.
KEYS Students in lab coats performing experiments

“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.”

2013 KEYS Intern

2016 KEYS Intern Jason Juang

"KEYS gives you the skills you need to communicate science, write an abstract, and make a poster. Taking things slow really helped me learn the proper way to communicate science. The program has really helped me with anything I’ve done in college, like writing lab reports and creating my Undergraduate Biology Research Program (UBRP) posters.”

2016 KEYS Intern Jason Juang

The KEYS program is led by the BIO5 Institute and funded by BIO5 and generous supporters including individuals, families, companies, foundations, and various UArizona faculty, colleges, and departments. The Technology and Research Initiative Fund (TRIF) that helped launch BIO5 20 years ago continues to be a catalyst in enabling effective cross-disciplinary bioscience research, innovation and impact at the University of Arizona, and also enables world-class student engagement programs like KEYS.


Questions? Contact KEYS staff at 520-626-8124 or email keys@bio5.org.