This paper explores why it is important for universities to integrate research and teaching at the present time and considers how it can be achieved. Political, institutional and disciplinary factors affect the relationship, whether the aim is to integrate teaching with research or to integrate research with teaching. So the article explores factors that facilitate and factors that discourage integration. By way of providing an example of implementation, imperatives and challenges in developing this relationship at a large research-intensive Australian university are outlined. Finally, the paper draws some general implications from this discussion to suggest where moves by disciplinary communities to integrate research and teaching might be heading.