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Undergraduate Research and Creative Work

Undergraduate research currently plays an important role in the life of the college. Students conduct research and creative work within their disciplines, through Honors and Distinction programs, and as part of the Vernon L. Pack Society for Community-Based Research. In each of these programs, students have the opportunity to work collaboratively with faculty members to pose meaningful theoretical questions, design research programs, and prepare scholarly presentations and publications. These experiences take students on a journey of intellectual inquiry that culminates in an original contribution to a body of knowledge and/or creative works in the student’s discipline.

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Opportunities to Earn this Card

Click here to see the opportunities.

Will My Experience Count as a Card?

To count as a Card, the experience must meet these essential components.

Card Characteristics 


  • Project-Oriented: The student’s experience was project-oriented and included intentional real-world activities.
  • Time Commitment: The student’s experience lasted over a significant duration of time.  Relative duration and time commitment were discussed with mentor(s) at the beginning of the experience. The research or creative project will typically involve more than a single academic term of research, creative work, and/or writing. In the case of intensive 8-10 week full-time summer research experiences, a single summer will be sufficient as long as it includes all the essential components listed.
  • Concrete Outcome: The student creates a concrete outcome. The project must produce a final product. Some examples of final products include a work of art, a thesis, a composition, or a manuscript.
  • Authentic Experience: The level of scholarship and engagement will be appropriate to the field(s) of study with a goal of producing an original scholarly or creative contribution to the field.


  • Hands-on: The student’s experience included a hands-on application of knowledge and skill.
  • Student Ownership: The student's project will be original. The student work will be independent and is typically outside of regular coursework, though a project may begin as part of a course or may be integrated into a capstone experience within a degree program. The student is expected to take some responsibility for the scope and direction of the project.


  • Student Reflection:  The student showed evidence of reflective thinking about the experience.
  • Mentorship: The student worked with one or more faculty, staff, or peer who served as a guide or mentor. For some projects it may be appropriate to have more than one mentor, especially on an interdisciplinary project.  For off-campus projects, the mentor does not have to be a member of the Otterbein faculty.


  • Evidence of Change: Engagement promoted change in the community and/or scholarship. All projects will involve some form of public presentation. This typically takes the form of an exhibition, poster presentation, recital, or oral presentation and can be either on or off-campus. Presentations can alternatively take the form of an accepted submission of scholarly or creative work to a peer-reviewed venue.
  • Personal Transformation: Student had opportunities to reshape their personal and academic lenses.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will integrate knowledge within their discipline toward complex problems or contexts.
  • Students will use appropriate strategies and tools to present and analyze information.
  • Students will utilize creativity in approaching new problems or situations.
  • Students will understand the ethical implications of scholarly work within their chosen field.
  • Students will show the ability to acquire, interpret and organize new knowledge.

Personalized Cardinal Experience 

Many courses, co-curricular activities, research opportunities, non-credit bearing work, and off-campus experiences can serve as a Personalized Cardinal Experience (PCE). Review the application for the Undergraduate Research and Creative Work Card to determine if an experience may qualify. Each Personalized Cardinal Experience needs to be sponsored by a faculty or staff member who will help you identify how the experience will meet the criteria for earning a Card. A PCE Checklist should be completed with your sponsor prior to participation. 

To start your Personalized Cardinal Experience journey complete the form below with your Card sponsor 

Personalized Cardinal Experience Undergraduate Research and Creative Work

More Information

Exceptional undergraduate research and creative work can also be conducted as part of our Honors program and/or Distinction program. Funding for projects is available from the Student Research Fund.  For more information on undergraduate research and creative work opportunities visit the Research at Otterbein site.


Kathryn Plank
Interim Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs & Dean of University Programs

Tabatha Piper
Five Cards Graduate Assistant

Patricia Wilson
Five Cards Faculty Liaison

p/ 614.823.1501
e/ 5cards@otterbein.edu

Undergraduate Research and Creative Work Card