Year Published: 2014

Time to Complete: 45 min

Course Type: Self-paced Online

Instructor: Kahsi A. Smith, PhD

Learning Level: Fundamental

Primary Audience: Researchers

Prerequisite: None


Why should you formulate a clinically relevant, well-defined research question?

Developing your research question, including a supportive hypothesis and objectives, is a necessary step in producing results to be used in evidence-based practice.

Learning Objectives

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Outline approach to formulating structured, clinically-relevant research questions
  • Highlight importance of evidence-based approach to critically evaluating scientific literature
  • Review existing tools and resources
  • Review relationship between types of clinical questions and study design
  • Explain the relationship between research questions and objectives, specific aims, hypotheses, power/sample size, and statistical analysis.

Content Outline

  • Formulating Research Questions, Hypotheses and Objectives (4:39)
  • Formulating YOUR Research Question (8:46)
  • Critically Evaluating Literature (4:52)
  • Dartmouth EBM Resources (3:06)
  • Clarifying YOUR Question (5:53)
  • Formulating Structured Questions (7:42)
  • Creating a Solid Foundation (7:38)


  • Lecture Slide Deck (PDF)

Course Evaluation

  • Post-Course Evaluation
  • Course Completion Verification

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