Chris is Professor of Social Sciences at Cardiff University and is the Academic Director of the Cardiff University Social Science Research Park (SPARK). Prior to this he was a Co-Director of the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research and Data (WISERD) and continues to direct the WISERD Education Data Lab, which utilises education administrative data to support education priorities in Wales. Chris also convenes the annual WISERDEducation Multi-Cohort Study (WMCS), a longitudinal study of secondary school aged pupils in Wales that is now in its ninth year of data collection. He is also the education theme lead in the ESRC Administrative Data Research (ADR) Wales, part of ADR UK.
In 2020 Chris helped establish the ESRC International Public Policy Observatory (IPPO), working with colleagues from across the four nations of the UK to mobilise evidence and research to help policy makers’ response to the COVID pandemic on a wide range of social issues.
Chris has published extensively on a wide range of educational and social issues and has undertaken research across all education sectors, from early years to higher education. This has included government-funded evaluations of the Foundation Phase for all 3-7 year olds in Wales, the Pupil Development Grant and the Welsh Baccalaureate qualification, an ESRC Fellowship studying the geography of growing up in the UK and an ESRC Large Grant on the political economy of school exclusions across the UK. He is also part of the PISA 2021 team for England and Wales, working with the University of Oxford and Pearson. Chris is also a member of the ESRC Large Centre on Civil Society in WISERD exploring the relationships between civil society and young people.
For the last six years Chris was a member of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) Student Opportunities and Achievement Committee (SOAC). Prior to that he was a member of the ESRC Training and Skills Committee, and continues to be the independent chair of the Centre for Longitudinal Studies, UCL, Strategic Advisory Board (including chairing the Early Life Cohort Feasibility Study Advisory Board).