Denis Evans graduated from The Australian National University with a BSc (hons) and received his PhD from the Australian National University. He has since held positions at Oxford University (1976-1977), Cornell University (1977-1978), The Australian National University (1978-1979), the National Bureau of Standards, Bolder, Colorado (1979-1980) before being appointed Fellow at the Research School of Chemistry in 1982.
He has been awarded fellowships of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (1989) and the Australian Academy of Science (1994). Denis Evans received the Fulbright Fellowship to Colorado (1979), the Bronze Medallion, Australian Rheological Society (1988), the Distinguished Young Chemist Award, Federation of Asian Chemical Societies (1988), the Rennie Medal for Chemistry, RACI (1993), the Frederick White Prize, AAS (1990), the H. G. Smith Memorial Medal of the RACI (2000), the S.F. Boys-A. Rahman Lectureship, RSC (2000) and the Centenary Medal (2003) and the Moyal Medal (for Mathematics, 2004). He was appointed Professor at the Research School of Chemistry in 1990.