Objectives: People with chronic kidney diseases (CKD) have identified exercise as a research priority. To inform the research agenda, we surveyed nephrologists on their practice patterns, available resources and research priorities for exercise and physical activity (PA) in CKD. Design Cross-sectional international survey. Setting: and participants 19-item electronic survey was administered to practising nephrologists with publicly available email addresses in Canada (n=354) and Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) and via newsletters for the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology (n=598). Outcomes Frequency and predictors of exercise and PA counselling in practice and research priorities. Results: 189 respondents (20% response) completed the survey. Eighty-one per cent of ANZ and 42% of Canadian respondents reported that their renal programmes did not have any exercise programmes or resources. The most frequently reported barrier for exercise programme implementation was a lack of funding (77%). Ninety per cent of respondents thought regular exercise provides 'health benefits' for all CKD stages; 59% reported that exercise counselling was within the nephrologists' scope of practice and 47% reported 'frequently' or 'always' counselling patients. In multivariable analysis, female gender (OR 2.31; 95% CI 1.16 to 4.58) and older age (OR 1.94 per age category increase; 95% CI 1.15 to 3.26) were associated with exercise counselling. Out of 194 research priorities, 65 (34%) were clinical outcomes (cardiovascular parameters) and 30% were patient-reported outcomes (quality of life). Conclusions: Most nephrologists consider exercise and PA counselling as within their scope of practice and beneficial but, due to competing priorities, do not regularly counsel patients. This suggests a need for the evaluation of effective and efficient counselling strategies and a role for the routine involvement of exercise specialists in kidney care. Cardiovascular parameters and quality of life were identified as important outcomes for future exercise trials.