Development & Alumni Relations Office 

Ageing revolution – Queen’s leading the way! 

The Queen’s University-led NICOLA Project (Northern Ireland Cohort for the Longitudinal Study of Ageing) will involve 8,500 people aged over 50 who will be randomly selected from across Northern Ireland over the next 18-months.

The findings will leave a lasting legacy for society by enabling policy makers to base Government strategy upon the research.

Professor Ian Young, Principal Investigator of the NICOLA Project, said: “For the first time, through the NICOLA study, Queen’s will give policy makers in Northern Ireland the same level of information as their counterparts in Great Britain and Ireland, and it will help shape at least ten major Government policies. ‘NICOLA’ will help us change the way we live for the better and those participating in the study will leave a tangible legacy for future generations.”

NICOLA consists of three stages, an interview conducted in the home, a questionnaire and a health assessment which will take place at the new Northern Ireland Clinical Research Facility at Belfast City Hospital. The assessments, completed by registered nurses, will include blood pressure readings, brain function (thinking) tests, blood sample collection and a detailed eye examination using equipment not available elsewhere in Northern Ireland. Follow-up interviews will be conducted every two years.

Queen’s Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor James McElnay, said: “The NICOLA study is a fine example of how Queen’s research has a real and lasting impact on our society. The information gathered during the study will be vital in informing Government policy and ensuring that Northern Ireland is well equipped to meet the challenges of an ageing population.”

The 8,500 participants have been randomly selected from a database provided by Northern Ireland’s Health & Social Care Board. Participation is entirely voluntary and all data collected by NICOLA will remain confidential. Researchers will not have access to personal information.

NICOLA is funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies; the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC); the Medical Research Council; Health and Social Care Research and Development (HSC R&D), a division of the Public Health Agency; the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI); and the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM).

For more information please email or contact 028 9063 3078.


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