This paper seeks to outline how clinical and academic colleagues can work together to promote nursing research and development in order to enhance care delivery. The literature shows that problems concerning capacity and capability continue to impede progress in developing further the contribution that nursing research can make to patient care. The settings which are the focus of this collaboration are a large acute teaching hospital NHS Trust and a post-1992 university. In order to develop firm foundations that a collaborative nursing research strategy could rest on, a SWOT analysis was undertaken. The SWOT analysis demonstrates that there is a clear need to increase the number of nurses participating in research and development activities in both settings. This is a fundamental requirement if evidence based nursing practice is to be a reality.