Tayside's Primary Care Research and Development Network (TayRen) was awarded £140K per annum for 4 years from 1998 by the Scottish Office Department of Health. The operating model of TayRen is described and the outcomes highlighted. A multiprofessional, multidisciplinary, methodologically rigorous and locally responsive approach has contributed to the outcomes achieved. The network has enabled practitioners to gain research experience by working with more experienced colleagues. The research culture of Tayside has matured since the formation of TayRen as evidenced by the increased number of research practices (six), training fellowships (three), registration for higher degrees (18), grants (£3.9m) and publications (96). In conclusion, TayRen has increased research activity in primary care in Tayside.