Developing A Research Question

How do I develop a clear research question about my topic?

Key Points

  • Developing a research question is likely the most important step in any research activity as this defines what the research project sets out to answer. 
  • Choosing a proper research question that fits the research design, timeline, budget and associated factors is essential for a successful research venture.
  • Helpful criteria such as FINER (Feasible, Interesting, Novel, Ethical, Relevant) and PICOT (Patient or Problem, Intervention or Indicator, Comparison Group, Outcomes, Time) are available to guide the researcher for developing a suited research question.

Helpful Links, Videos and Online Courses



Online Courses

  • How to Write a Research Proposal – Online Course – FutureLearn
    • University of Leicester offers a free online course on writing a research proposal. Though aimed for PhD applicants, it can be helpful for any aspiring researcher.
    • Note: users will have to create an account and select the “Free” option. There is also unlimited access account available for $49

Relevant Publications

  • Fandino, W. (2019a). Formulating a good research question: Pearls and pitfalls. Indian Journal of Anaesthesia, 63(8), 611.
    • This article published in the Indian Journal of Anesthesia highlights about formulating a good research question, including key elements to include and pitfalls to avoid.