Keystone Project

All Kilachand students complete a substantial work of empirical or scholarly research, creativity, or invention by the close of their senior year.

The purpose of the Keystone Project is to provide students with a sustained experience of intellectual discovery and an opportunity to share their work with a broader audience. This process begins in the junior year, when students learn to balance the excitement of imaginative approaches to their intellectual interests with the rigor of field-specific methodologies and begin to work on the design of their thesis or project. It continues in the senior year, as students conduct their research, write their thesis or produce their creative project, and assess the significance of the work they have done. The research thesis or project can take a variety of forms, but students must aim for the highest standards of the discipline or interdisciplinary area they select.


The Keystone Project is flexible and gives Kilachand students the opportunity to pursue research or creative work through their major departments, home schools and colleges, or Kilachand. There are various defined pathways through which Kilachand students can complete the Keystone Project.


The material resources for a project can be just as important as the intellectual components. Kilachand is committed to supporting its students’ research and creative projects while promoting responsible use of Kilachand’s resources, making students aware of resources they may not have considered, and ensuring access to needed resources for projects. Students pursuing all project pathways are welcome to submit budget proposals to Kilachand and should familiarize themselves with the Keystone Project budget guidelines.


All Kilachand students complete the Keystone Project and do so through various pathways and produce a variety of project types.  Regardless of pathway, all Kilachand students submit to Kilachand a one-page prospectus before beginning their project and a reflective précis upon completion. All students also draft abstracts in KHC HC502 and present their work at the annual Keystone Symposium. All Keystone Project requirements can be found here.


Students are encouraged to begin familiarize themselves with the Keystone Project as early as their first year. While developing projects typically requires students to consult with project advisors and, perhaps, engage with advanced coursework in their majors, students can prepare for and learn about the Keystone Project by viewing past presentations, interviewing upperclassmen, attending Kilachand research events, and building relationships with faculty members.