Chris did his first degree at the University of Bristol, graduating with 1st class honours in 1990. He then worked as a management consultant for two years before returning to chemistry, taking a Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr Dominic Wright at the University of Cambridge. He then obtained a Junior Research Fellowship at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge where he initiated independent work on imido phosphorus anions. In 1997, he obtained a prestigious Royal Society University Research Fellowship to work at the University of Bristol. He was appointed to a lectureship in October 2005, promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2006 and to a Readership in 2009.