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 Times as one of the ideas that shaped 2008.