Developing the clinical academic workforce of the future is a priority of international relevance. Despite a number of measures implemented to address this challenge, a small proportion of medical students engage in research. Lack of knowledge of available research opportunities, and difficulty finding projects and suitable mentors are key barriers to undergraduate medical research. To date, there is no consolidated source of information on undergraduate research training opportunities and their outcomes available to medical students in New Zealand. Based on a comprehensive review of the published and grey literature and the authors' personal experiences of research training activities as medical students, this article presents an overview of the research training opportunities available to medical students in New Zealand. Challenges facing medical student research involvement are discussed and current knowledge gaps in the literature are highlighted. The article concludes with suggested strategies to help promote research training opportunities and support students through their research experience.