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 financial 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 project statement before beginning their project and a reflective précis upon completion. All students also draft abstracts in KHC HC502, KHC HC512, and KHC HC522 and present their work at the annual Keystone Symposium. All Keystone Project requirements can be found here.


Students are asked to produce and submit a variety of materials during the Keystone process. Students should familiarize themselves with the Keystone Project Requirements and the resources for meeting those requirements.


Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Keystone Project as early as their first year. Developing projects typically requires students to consult with project advisors and engage with advanced coursework in their majors, but students can prepare for the Keystone Project by attending the Keystone Symposium and viewing past presentations, interviewing upperclassmen, and building relationships with faculty members.

Work on the Keystone Project typically begins in the junior year when students enroll in KHC HC451 or apply to opportunities in their major that serve as Keystone Pathways. The Keystone is central to Kilachand in the senior year, when students enroll in coursework dedicated to carrying out their projects, workshop projects and presentations in KHC HC502, HC512, or HC522, and present at the Keystone Symposium.


Email, where you can reach:

  • Amy Fish and Chris Rominger; Amy and Chris can assist on all matters related to Keystone, including research, creative project development, your relationship with your advisor, or anything else on your mind.
  • Rick Tonetti; Rick oversees budgets, travel, participant compensation, borrowing equipment, course registration, printing needs, and more. If you’re unsure if you can get reimbursed for something, ask Rick first.

You may find reviewing our Keystone FAQs helpful.