Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health

Human nutrition research at Ulster University is conducted in the Northern Ireland Centre for Food & Health (NICHE), which was initially set up with EU structural funds in 1996 to provide greater understanding of diet-related health issues.

A Centre of Excellence in Nutrition and Ageing (CENA) was established with funding from the Department of Employment and Learning (DEL) to further enhance existing cross-border collaborations focused on promoting better health in older age through nutrition.

NICHE has 28 academic, 5 technical and 8 research staff, as well as over 20 postgraduate research students.

Nutrition research has formed a significant part of the University’s Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) submission in Biomedical Sciences since 1989. NICHE has been ranked 1st in the UK in the RAE of 1996 and 2001, and in the last RAE in 2008 NICHE was ranked 1st in research power.

The aims of NICHE are to:

- To understand diet related health issues by performing fundamental research in nutrition and investigating the relationship between diet and chronic diseases

- To investigate the role of nutrition in the promotion of better health and well-being in ageing