Training the Next Generation

The Challenge

Many high school students interested in the biosciences are never able to practice and contribute to actual hands-on laboratory research. They learn about science only through textbooks or in a classroom, whereas real-world application has the potential to spark more meaningful intellectual and creative curiosity.

UA Advantage

The seven week KEYS Research Internship Program provides promising Arizona high school students with a strong interest in bioscience, bioengineering, environmental health, or biostatistics with a unique opportunity 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 mentorship of UA labs. 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.

With support and participation from many UA colleges, departments, partners, and program sponsors, the BIO5 Institute leads the KEYS program. Interns have an opportunity to pursue their passion for research while exploring their academic, professional, and personal goals. As one of the core tenets of BIO5's mission, we have a commitment to developing novel approaches to educating and inspiring our next generation of scientists.


Since 2007, 427 students have completed the KEYS internship program. Of the 477 students who have since graduated from high school, 72% of KEYS alumni chose to stay at one of Arizona's universities, with 62% selecting the UA for their undergraduate studies. Many others have gone on to graduate, pharmacy, or medical school. KEYS alumni enter the UA as Honor’s College students, and most pursue STEM-related degrees and careers.


Guide to Give

For more information please contact
Lisa Romero | 520-626-9598