High school student working in a lab

Full summer availability and a commitment to work with your lab 35+ hours a week. Timely completion of course assignments and communication with program staff is also expected. Willingness to participate and engage in a professional setting. Completion of pre-KEYS assignments that are due every two weeks before the start of the program. To follow and comply with program rules and the UArizona Minor Policy.

The first week of the program is Training Week. You spend the week with program staff being trained in the necessary skills you need to be successful working in your lab. The second week through the final week of the program you work full-time with your research lab. Once a week you will meet with program staff and peers for Science Seminar. During Seminar you receive presentations from UArizona colleges and researchers, practice your presentation skills, and prepare to create your research poster.

The University of Arizona is deeply committed to the safety of minors who visit our campus facilities and attend various educational events throughout the year. This policy is intended to set guidelines for communications, supervision, behavioral expectations, and training to promote a higher level of service in order to provide a respectful and positive educational experience. Students are required to check in and check out with staff personnel and are encouraged to report exceptions to their regular routines to KEYS staff.

To review the UA Minors Policy, click here.

  • Admission to the U of A Honors College
  • Preference for KEYS Crew positions with KEYS
  • Ask program staff for application recommendation letters
  • Resume builder
  • Increased potential to work in a University research lab following your internship
  • 3 credits of UA MCB
  • Up to 4.0 entering UA GPA (dependent on success in internship)
  • Lasting friendships

Program staff work diligently to ensure that you are placed into a laboratory based on your research interests. Part of the KEYS Internship is developing professional skills, such as working in new and diverse environments.

No, but your application will be evaluated on your passion for science.

Your letter is evaluated on your passion for science, ability to follow instructions, and quality of writing. The most competitive letters will explicitly tell program staff how KEYS can help you in pursuing your scientific goals.

  1. Submit a program application.
  2. If your letter score qualifies you, an invitation to interview will be sent to your email.
  3. Interview with program staff.
  4. If your interview score qualifies you, an invitation to be part of the KEYS program will be sent to your email.

Students who have taken Biology or Chemistry will be better prepared to succeed in KEYS, but not having these classes will not place you at a disadvantage when being selected for the program.

Applicants will receive an email about their acceptance status by the end of December. Check your email frequently - including your junk mail. Applicants on the waitlist may not hear of the final decision until end of April.

KEYS is a free program, generous program donors ensure students can participate without cost being a deterrent. We do offer financial aid and/or resources for associated costs such a University of Arizona Cat Card, parking permit, meals, transportation, and financial support to supplement leave of absence from current employment to participate in KEYS during the seven week internship.

The 2022 internship will begin on June 6th and will end on July 22nd.

Applications for the 2022 KEYS program will open on October 1st and will close on December 5th.

UA regulations require that all students working in a university laboratory be 16 or older. For that reason you must be 16 on the first day of the program to be eligible for KEYS.

If you live in Arizona for more than 9 months of the year. If one or more parent/legal guardian are residents of the state and custody is shared. The question of residency for state income tax purposes cannot be answered by a general rule but depends largely on the circumstances of each case. Generally, no one single factor is controlling, but all relevant facts must be considered in determining residency. The determination of residency is dependent on physical presence and an intent to abandon the former residence and remain in the new residence for an indefinite period of time. For more detailed information, visit the Arizona Department of Revenue website.

No. Each applicant is initially reviewed by their statement of interest. Those passing to a second level of review will have their entire application packet assessed. If you have a lower GPA, please make sure to have your statement and/or recommendations reflect why it is below 3.5.

You can find your weighted and unweighted GPA on your transcript or you can ask someone from your counseling office.

Select teachers or counselors that you know well. They will be able to give more specific information, which will help during the packet review.

Email keys@bio5.org and inform program staff what edits you need to make to your materials. Do NOT submit another application form.

If you have not heard from a KEYS staff member, contact the KEYS email at keys@bio5.org or call 520-626-8124.

There is no fee to apply.

You can reach us at keys@bio5.org or call us at 520-626-8124.

Must be 16 years of age or older by June 6, 2022, and be a U.S. citizen or a legal Arizona resident.

Your letter of interest cannot exceed 800 words.

Lisa Romero
Executive Director, Public Affairs, Communications, and Engagement