Evidence on influenza vaccine effectiveness from low and middle countries (LMICs) is limited due to limited institutional capacities; lack of adequate resources; and lack of interest by ministries of health for influenza vaccine introduction. There are concerns that the highest ethical standards will be compromised during trials in LMICs leading to mistrust of clinical trials. These factors pose regulatory and operational challenges to researchers in these countries. We conducted a community-based vaccine trial to assess the efficacy of live attenuated influenza vaccine and inactivated influenza vaccine in rural north India. Key regulatory challenges included obtaining regulatory approvals, reporting of adverse events, and compensating subjects for trial-related injuries; all of which were required to be completed in a timely fashion. Key operational challenges included obtaining audio-visual consent; maintaining a low attrition rate; and administering vaccines during a narrow time period before the influenza season, and under extreme heat. We overcame these challenges through advanced planning, and sustaining community engagement. We adapted the trial procedures to cope with field conditions by conducting mock vaccine camps; and planned for early morning vaccination to mitigate threats to the cold chain. These lessons may help investigators to confront similar challenges in other LMICs. © 2018 Rakesh Kumar, Ritvik Amarchand, Venkatesh Vinayak Narayan, Siddhartha Saha, Kathryn E. Lafond, Suresh K. Kapoor, Lalit Dar, Seema Jain, and Anand Krishnan. Published with license by Taylor & Francis.