We invite all Bradley University employees and OSF HealthCare mission partners to ignite their creativity as we work collaboratively to advance local and regional community health outcomes. To begin work on this ambitious goal, a joint Trailblazer Challenge has been launched to explore solutions for societal questions. The Challenge was developed not only to explore solutions to pressing community issues but also in support of the Innovation for Health (IFH) Partnership between OSF and Bradley. In the coming weeks, a request for full proposals will be announced. Because funded IFH projects require participation of both Bradley University employees and OSF HealthCare mission partners, the Trailblazer Challenge will provide an opportunity to learn more about the interests of individuals from each organization.

OSF HealthCare Logo

How do I participate?

The Challenge is only open to Bradley University employees and OSF HealthCare mission partners; therefore, you must register to participate. After verifying your identity, you will receive an email from Ideawake.com titled: “Accept Your Invite to Bradley OSF Innovation.” Once you accept the invite, you are ready to share ideas, comment on others’ postings, and learn about the exciting work happening in the Greater Peoria area.

What is a Trailblazer Challenge?

Trailblazer Challenges are a tool OSF’s Office of Innovation Management uses for friendly competitions where partners are invited to submit ideas related to challenges the health care system faces. The broad questions for the OSF-BU Challenge are:

  • How might we respond to food supply, housing, or transportation gaps?
  • How might we combat health literacy gaps?
  • How might we create long-term economic stability?

What will the “winners”
of the Challenge receive?

A panel of judges will select up to six ideas from the Challenge, and each collaborative team of OSF mission partners and Bradley employees will receive $4,000 to support work on their vision.


Judging Criteria:

Budget Information for Award Recipients

Award recipients must submit a budget and budget justification before the final award agreement is generated. Within 21 days of initial award notification, the following must be provided for review by both Bradley's Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) and the Jump Trading Simulation and Education Center (JMC):

  1. An itemized budget (table format or itemized list) using the headings found in the list of allowable costs and an itemized breakdown of expenses within each category. (The maximum budget for this Challenge is $4000.)
  2. A separate budget justification (narrative) describing why each line item is necessary for the project's success and a brief explanation for how each amount was determined (calculations, quotes, vendor websites, etc.) Do not include the actual quotes, webpages, etc.


Allowable Costs Unallowable costs
Undergraduate or Graduate project associate wages:
Compensation at an hourly rate for current, degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students at Bradley Univ. to facilitate their engagement on the project.1,2

Consultants/contractual services:
Services necessary for the proposed project such as interpretation or translation services, transcription or annotation services, printing costs, or use of/submission of samples to equipment/instrumentation at another facility.

Participant Costs:
Costs related to involving human subjects in a study, such as participation incentives, fees for the purchase/use of a survey instrument or assessment tool, or other costs that are directly related to the involvement of human subjects an approved study.

Course Release:
Costs that will be incurred by the department or unit to cover the course release.
Compensation for students who are not current, degree-seeking students at Bradley University

Funding for graduate assistantships or tuition (To clarify, you may pay students an hourly rate to work on the project, but you may not use the funds to provide a portion of a graduate assistantship or pay any portion of the student’s tuition or fees.)

Compensation for team leaders (faculty, staff, clinicians, etc.) or additional research collaborators/presenters/co-authors
Materials and Supplies:
Items required to conduct the project (e.g., expendable materials and supplies). Do not use this line item to just replenish departmental stock.
Publication costs

Routine costs (secretarial, etc.) that are a standard line item in unit/departmental/center/college budgets
Funds may be used to support travel costs required for the performance of the project (fieldwork, access to archives, service sites, etc.).
Any travel that is not required to conduct the proposed project – This includes conference or professional meeting attendance

Meal expenses or other food costs unless such items are required to conduct the proposed research project


  1. It is the expectation of committee that students supported by awards will earn at least Illinois’ state minimum wage rate.
  2. Bradley University Policy: Students cannot receive both compensation and course credit for the same effort. Students may receive compensation if the duties are in addition to their course work as students. There must be a clear delineation between the course work and the duties being performed for compensation. Work duties versus course assignments must be specifically documented and there can be no overlap of responsibilities or the appearance thereof.

Acknowledgements for Funding

As a testimony of their visionary philanthropy and a reflection of their ongoing commitment to innovative healthcare, Kevin and Lisa Schoeplein and OSF HealthCare Foundation have worked together to create the Kevin and Lisa Schoeplein Innovation Endowment. This will help fund collaborative work with Bradley University to advance community health outcomes in Greater Peoria and Central Illinois. Funded research will provide direct impact in the areas of the social determinants of health, rural health and cancer treatment and prevention.

In addition, support for three awards is provided by the Bradley University’s Division for Strategy and Innovation with the goal of advancing the development of interdisciplinary programs and activities. These awards will be given to interdisciplinary teams who propose strategies that actively engage Bradley University students in the execution of the project to help them appreciate diverse ideas and perspectives, gain communication and problem-solving skills, and learn to work collaboratively. These twenty-first-century learning competencies equip students for the complex and multifaceted opportunities and challenges in today’s world.

Note: The definition for interdisciplinary projects used for the Challenge is: adapting and applying skills, abilities, theories, or methodologies gained from two or more disparate fields of study to create a deeper understanding of a complex topic or solve complex problems.