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TRAM Team Spotlight: Bonnie Zhang

Hannah McLean · May 23rd, 2023

The success of TRAM is undeniable, and it’s all thanks to the expertise, passion, and dedication of the people who run our programs. To shine a spotlight on our TRAM team superstars, we’ve sat them down for a one-on-one chat to discover more about who they are and what they do at TRAM. First up, meet Bonnie Zhang, our TRAM Track Manager.

Get to know our TRAM Track Manager:

1. What is the purpose of your role as TRAM Track Manager?

My purpose is to facilitate the space for researchers at the University of Melbourne to discover what problem their research can solve and who exactly needs their solution to guide them towards creating real-world impact with their research. This stage of the entrepreneurial journey is early, exciting yet ambiguous and uncomfortable so it’s extremely important to create connection and community for our researchers — all things I love!

2. What do you love about being part of TRAM and working in the research impact space?

Having spent years on the other side as a cancer researcher at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, I now love being on this side of research. I get to get to work alongside the brightest and most ambitious researchers at the University of Melbourne who are absolute experts in their field and empower them to make the impact that they want to see with their research. With every Track cohort, I am lucky enough to learn 10+ different fields and projects, it blows my mind every time.

3. If you were stuck out at sea with any one person, who would it be and why?

It would have to be Brené Brown — professor and thought leader on vulnerability and leadership because I could listen and learn from her all day. The FFT — First F*cking Time is one of the best takeaways I’ve learnt from her. It’s all about being humble and kind to yourself when doing something new for the first f*king time in unchartered waters so that you feel confident to keep taking risks and doing new things. Safe to say that being stuck at sea would be unchartered waters that I’d love Brené to coach me through!

4. How do you fill your cup outside of work?

Outside of work, you’ll find me watching live music somewhere in Melbourne’s inner north, taking a swing on the golf course or trying to find the best sandwich in town! I also record a Science Podcast called Pear Review Club with two friends Vicky and Jack where we talk about quirky science, if that’s your jam take a listen here.

5. What’s a common misconception people have about TRAM?

A myth about TRAM is that the program is only for startups. Myth busters — it’s not true! TRAM has four different programs (TRAMx Bootcamp, Track, Runway and Air) and only one of them targets research startups. All three other programs are for researchers making impact with their research in whichever way is right for them. If you ever have a question about your eligibility into TRAM Programs, get in touch directly —

6. Who’s one person you are grateful for and why?

This one’s easy and cheesy — it’s my mum Jenny. Besides giving me life, she really inspires me as someone who gives so much energy to those around her without expecting anything in return.


TRAM Track is our pre-accelerator program that is designed specifically for our University of Melbourne researchers who are seeking to create real-world impact. The program focuses on customer discovery and creating the ideal problem-solution fit. Learn more about the program or express your interest here.

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