The Christian Medical College, Vellore has its grounding in research from the work started by Dr. Ida Sophia Scudder, its founder. Over the past century, CMC has contributed significantly not only to the provision of health care to the poor and needy but also in generating and advancing knowledge to improve the provision of curative and preventive services to the people we serve directly and to the nation. Research is an integral part of the vision and the mission of CMC. Research at the institution has been oriented to areas of need and emphasizes application of knowledge to relevant problems. The inculcation of an attitude of inquiry, acquisition of knowledge of the mechanisms of research and the conduct of research, at various levels of involvement in health care, are encouraged in faculty and students. Research is the key to excellence in academic medicine, but the conduct of research is frequently misunderstood as requiring both skills and resources not available to the practicing clinician. Defining research as a systemic investigation in order to contribute to generalizable knowledge makes it clear that research can be conducted in any environment and with minimal resources. Some forms of research, particularly in the basic and applied sciences, do require significant investments and we have been fortunate at CMC to obtain substantial grant funding to be able to support research in a wide range of some basic and substantial clinical and translational medicine. Economic analyses have shown that the benefits of research are far in excess of investments. These analyses are based on the benefits to society in terms of human health and longevity, and do not consider the long term inquiry driven attitudinal changes that we seek to inculcate in our faculty and trainees. Nonetheless, it is heartening that in addition to treating our patients individually or promoting community health, our research is key to fulfillment of our motto ‘not to be ministered unto, but to minister’ on the widest and longest lasting scale.