Professor Michelle Ryan
Professor of Social and Organisational Psychology/ Dean of Postgraduate Research and Director of the University of Exeter Doctoral College


Michelle Ryan is a Professor of Social and Organisational Psychology. She is involved in a number of research projects. In 2014 she undertook a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship to examine the role of identity in explaining perceptions of work-life balance. With Alex Haslam, she has uncovered the phenomenon of the glass cliff, whereby women (and members of other minority groups) are more likely to be placed in leadership positions which are risky or precarious. Research into the glass cliff was short listed for the Times Higher Education Supplement Research Project of the Year in 2005 and was named by the New York Timesas one of the ideas that shaped 2008.

Michelle is also involved in projects examining (a) the effectiveness of role models (with Thekla Morgenroth and Kim Peters); (b) women's ambition in the workplace (with Kim Peters and Alex Haslam); (c) the gender wage gap (with Clara Kulich); (d) social identity and sexuality (with Chris Robus); (e) the impact of metaphors (with Susanne Bruckmueller), (f) leadership succession (with Nik Steffens, Floor Rink, and Janka Stoker, (g) the social identity of unemployment (with Pamela Bretschneider & Thomas Kessler), (h) identity complexity (with Thomas Morton and Anders Sunderlund), and (i) identity and disability (with Stuart Read and Thomas Morton).

Michelle is also Dean of Postgraduate Research and the Director of the new University of Exeter Doctoral College.

Research group links

Contact details

Internal tel5120
Tel+44 (0) 1392 725120
AddressWashington Singer Laboratories
University of Exeter
Perry Road
Prince of Wales Road

Back | Top of page | Edit Profile | Refresh page