Dr Varuni Wimalasiri

Dr Varuni Wimalasiri
Dr Varuni Wimalasiri
Dr Varuni Wimalasiri


Business School


I am a lecturer in Management (Organisational Psychology) and a Chartered Occupational Psychologist (HCPC). I received my Phd from the University of Nottingham (2007) and undertook an EPSRC postdoctorate (Risk and the design engineer) at Loughborough University (2007-2009).  I have worked at Exeter, Sussex and Bournemouth Universities. And between 2015-2017, took a sabbatical to work in the 3rd sector on projects supporting women's vocational development following displacement.

In my research I use principles of Psychology to address the following questions:

  • How does intersectionality, identity and equality effect the women's experience of work and their wellbeing?
  • How might we design diversity programmes to address more obvious but also hidden inequalities at work?
  • How are marginalised communities in Society, impacted further by workplace inequalities ?
  • How does sudden displacement (e.g. war) affect women at an intersectional level ?
  • How can we address problems that arise at work through job design and creativity (including diversity)?

I have published my work in journals such as Human Relations, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Journal of Management, Personnel Review and Work and Stress, amongst others. I have received funding from the Economics and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), The Big Lottery (UK) and The Railway Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), among others. My research informs UN's sustainable goal 5 (Equality for Women and Girls). More information about this research can be found by accessing the following link: Equality for Every Woman and Girl - At Work. 

I welcome queries from Phd students who are interested in pursuing doctoral research in my areas of interest. Also queries from those in the third sector working with minority and marginalised communities.

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships

I am the Chair for the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) committee of the Business School, at the University of Aberdeen.

External Memberships

I am a board member of the EDI board of the British Psychological Society. And a member of the ESRC peer review college.


Prizes and Awards

Grants and awards

ESRC IAA fund (Sussex University) (2021-2022) Food as identity and food as enterprise: Assisting economic empowerment of women refugees through  including intersectionality lead start-up strategies for food-related enterprise. Wimalasiri, V. Bessant, J. Vignoles, V. and Industry Partners – Diversity Business Incubator.

Bournemouth University GCRH funding (2019) Identifying the needs of women refugees and asylum seekers in Devon in relation to finding and engaging in employment and careers. In partnership with Devon County Council. Wimalasiri, V.

The Lloyds Bank Social entrepreneurs start up programme, in partnership with the school of social entrepreneurs (SSE) and jointly funded by the Big Lottery (2018). Woman's Work: Reconnecting women refuges back to work. Oct 2017 – Oct 2018. Wimalasiri, V.

ESRC Impact cultivation award and social policy network funding (via University of Exeter), (2014) Creativity in the Emergency Services. Wimalasiri, V,  Black, S. and Robinson, M. (in collaboration with South West Ambulance Services)

EPSRC Bridging the gaps fund (via University of Exeter), (2011) With Drurie, R. Wyatt K. Craft A. et al.  Creativity: A multidisciplinary perspective. Wimalasiri, V with Drurie, Wyatt, Craft et al 

Seedcorn grant, School of Management, University of Plymouth (2010) Wimalasiri, V. Transfer of non-technical skills to assist problem-solving in A&E contexts.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) (2007) Risk and the Design Engineer. Daniels, K.J., Cheyne, A.J.T., Cohen, L., Hislop, D., Wimalasiri, V.,& Beesley, N.

British Academy of Management (2009) Funding for seminar series for special interest group in Organizational Psychology held in Universities Cambridge, Loughborough, Warwick, and the Open University. Billsberry J. and Wimalasiri V.


Funding and scholarship awarded for Phd: Developing Solutions Scholarship (University of Nottingham) + Railway Safety and Standards Board funding (2002-2005) 


Page 1 of 3 Results 1 to 10 of 27

  • Gender-Word-Identity conflict and perceived equality at the job level: Implications for diversity management

    Wimalasiri, V., Bovingdon, R., Shrivastava, M.
    Contributions to Conferences: Oral Presentations
  • Displacement-plurality (D-P) in women refugees, its influence on work seeking, engagement and implications for workplace diversity practice: a reflective and critical review

    Wimalasiri, V.
    Personnel Review, vol. 51, no. 9, pp. 2061-2080
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Plymouth’s approach to enabling refugee women into employment and the government action required to prevent ongoing, sustained poverty and isolation within this population

    Wimalasiri, V.
    Commissioned by Plymouth City Council. University of Sussex
    Books and Reports: Commissioned Reports
  • Ethical and Methodological dilemmas in research with Refugee populations: At the intersection of Gender, Displacement and Work

    Wimalasiri, V.
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Conference Proceedings
  • Factors that influence women refugees vocational choices of women refugees during resettlement: An appreciative and critical review and a framework to guide future research.

    Wimalasiri, V.
    Contributions to Conferences: Papers
  • The role of Business Schools in creating a fairer minded society: The Case of raising the real stories about Refugees/ Asylum seekers and work to Business Audiences.

    Wimalasiri, V.
    Contributions to Conferences: Papers
  • Safety Climate and increased risk: The role of deadlines in design work.

    Daniels, K., Beesley, N., Cheyne, A., Wimalasiri, V.
    Human Relations, vol. 69, no. 5, pp. 1185
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Can work in High Risk Organisations (HROs') provide deeper insights into Organizational Creativity theory?

    Wimalasiri, V., Galley, D.
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Conference Proceedings
  • Automation and Human-Machine interaction

    Wimalasiri, V.
    Work and Occupational Psychology: Integrating theory and practice. Zibarras, L., Lewis, R. (eds.). Sage Publications
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
  • Problem solving and well-being: Exploring the instrumental role of job control and social support

    Daniels, K., Beesley, N., Wimalasiri, V., Cheyne, A.
    Journal of Management, vol. 39, no. 4, pp. 1016-1043
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
Show 10 | 25 | 50 | 100 results per page


Books and Reports

Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Conferences

Contributions to Journals