Dr Christopher Q Smith

Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Research Fellow
Research Lead (Risk and Financial Security in Later Life)

Contact details

Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management (CHASM)
Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology,
University of Birmingham,
B15 2TT

Chris is a Research Fellow working in the Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management (CHASM). He is currently carrying out a qualitative research project with Dr Louise Overton into the changing nature of pension decision making following the introduction of new 'pension freedoms' in 2015. This is a one-year project funded by the Standard Life Foundation.


  • PhD Sociology and Social Policy, University of Birmingham
  • MSc with Distinction in Leadership and Service Improvement, University of Manchester
  • MA with Distinction in Social Research, University of Warwick
  • BA in History and Sociology, University of Warwick


Chris came to the Department in 2016 as a PhD student, before being made a Research Fellow in 2021. His primary interest is in using sociological theory to develop original insights into contemporary policy issues. His areas of expertise include: the sociology of morality, critical realism in empirical research, classical social theory (particularly the work of Durkheim and Weber), qualitative fieldwork, and UK health policy. Going forward he is also interested in developing expertise in economic sociology and financialization. 

Prior to undertaking his PhD Chris held a number of policy roles in the third sector and is also a graduate of the NHS Management Training Scheme. 


Pension Decision-Making in the New Retirement Landscape: Understanding and improving outcomes for consumers.