NIKHEF is an acronym for Nationaal Instituut voor Kernfysica en Hoge-Energiefysica (National Institute for Nuclear and High energy physics). Nowadays this acronym is not used anymore and the name is changed to Nationaal instituut voor subatomaire fysica (National Institute for Subatatomic Physics). The name Nikhef is preserved to maintain international name reputation (now only with a capital N).

Nikhef is a collaboration between the Stichting voor Fundamenteel Onderzoek der Materie (FOM), Universiteit van Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen and the Universiteit Utrecht. At Nikhef research is done in the fields of Particle physics and Astroparticle physics. Nikhef is located at the Science Park Amsterdam in Watergraafsmeer in the Netherlands.

Nikhef is also one of the seven locations of the Amsterdam Internet Exchange.