Evidence-based medical practice is best achieved by developing research understanding in medical practitioners. To this end, medical councils worldwide increasingly recognise the importance of medical schools graduating students with well-developed research skills and research capacity. To meet this need, the principles of programmatic assessment were implemented in designing a research and critical analysis curriculum and assessment program that aimed to enhance the research and critical analysis skills of medical students. The program was developed by mapping assessment tasks to a research capabilities framework that was in turn scaffolded to different levels of Miler's pyramid. The curriculum and assessments were integrated with the science, clinical, and professional aspects of the medical course. The progressive longitudinal development of research skills, with feedback and academic mentoring, culminated in the students' capacity to undertake an independent research project. Designing an assessment program for learning encouraged students to develop their research capacity by involving them in their learning.