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Dr Nicholas Chisholm



Food Business & Development
University College Cork
Cork University Business School

[email protected] ORCID profile


I am Academic Director of two teaching programmes in UCC: the BSc in International Development & Food Policy, and the joint MSc in Rural Development, delivered in collaboration with Mekelle and Hawassa Universities in Ethiopia, to Ethiopian rural development practitioners.

My research focusses primarily on two broad issues: food insecurity and hunger, and sustainable natural resource management. I adopt a holistic and multi-disciplinary perspective in my research, reflecting my disciplinary background in geography, agricultural economics and environmental studies.


My approach combines both applied and theoretical/conceptual work. Because I have been involved in practical international development work for almost 30 years, I have a strong applied focus in my research in the broad area of sustainable development: some of my research in Ethiopia has been ¿operational research¿ which provides direct outputs for clients (resource-poor farmers).


Much of my research-related activity has also been focussed on strengthening institutional capacity of teachers and researchers in developing countries, particularly Ethiopia and the Philippines. 


I have a particular theoretical and conceptual interest in complex development issues which occur at the intersection of different theoretical fields, for example the interaction of environmental economics, institutional analysis and bio-physical processes in the context of sustainable development.


With regard to food security analyses, I have been involved in a number of policy and programme reviews which have involved both primary data collection and extensive documentary review. Much of this work has been of an applied nature for the purpose of policy development at Government level and has fed in to Government of Ireland policy and programming on hunger and food security issues.


Grants and Honours

  • 01/01/2015 - Rural Development., Irish Funded Research
  • 10/01/2012 - Better Nutrition? Developing the Evidence Base in Ethiopia and Tanzania., Higher Education Authority
  • 10/01/2008 - The development of a Biofuel socio-economic policy framework in relation to food security in the SADC International Food Policy Research Institute, Miscellaneous
  • 10/01/2005 - EPA "The potential for competitive gains in the Irish agriculture sector from emissions trading", Environment Protection Agency (EPA)
  • 18/03/2004 - Assistance to the CSA to develop & implement a programme for the in-depth analysis of the EASC, Foreign Research Institute
  • 05/01/2003 - [ASI/B7-301/98/679-040] {Chisholm Dr N}V, European Union
  • 04/01/2003 - [CID 139] {Chisholm Dr N} V, Foreign Research Institute
  • 10/01/2002 - [DEPT.AGRIC.FOOD REDS] {Chisholm,Dr.N} N, Department of Agriculture Fisheries & Forestry (DAFF)
  • 05/01/2002 - [DEV SOCIAL INCLUSION PROG]{N Chisholm}V, Government Departments
  • 12/01/2001 - [EU SOCRATES ANTMAC] {Chisholm,Nick} V, European Union
  • 10/01/1998 - [CORK URBAN PROGRAMME] {Chisholm,Mr} N, Government Departments
  • 04/01/1998 - [IRISH AID PROJ.] {Chisholm, Mr.N.} N, Miscellaneous
  • 01/01/1990 - [ARTS FACULTY DEV. FUND] {Sidwell,Pr.} N, Government Departments
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Journal article

Year Publication
2019 ROBA, K., O'CONNOR, T., O'BRIEN, N., AWEKE, C. S., KAHSAY, Z., CHISHOLM, N., LAHIFF, E. (2019). Seasonal variations in household food insecurity and dietary diversity and their association with maternal and child nutritional status in rural Ethiopia. Food Security, 11, 651-664. doi: Details
2019 CHISHOLM, N. (2019). Multi-sectoral collaboration for improved nutrition: The problems and prospects of implementation in Ethiopia. Development Policy Review, 37 (2), 274-292. doi:10.1111/dpr.12347. Details
2016 CHISHOLM, N., THORNHILL, S., VARGYAS, E., FITZGERALD, T. (2016). Household food security and biofuel feedstock production in rural Mozambique and Tanzania. Food Security, 8 (5), 953-971. doi:10.1007/s12571-016-0603-9. Details

Book chapter

Year Publication
2019 CHISHOLM, N., ABADI, N. (2019). Shocks and Insurances in Rural Tigray: Do Forests Have A Role to Play?. Climate-Smart Agriculture Enhancing Resilient Agricultural Systems, Landscapes, and Livelihoods in Ethiopia and Beyond (pp. 157-170). World Agroforestry.
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