Unit 2 | Module 2

Defining Research Objectives and Formulating Research Questions

In this module you will explore how to define your research objectives and how to formulate a good research question.

Research Questions

This podcast features Drs. Teresa Chan and Larkin Lamarche on the topic of research questions.


Please note that some of the resources mentioned in this podcast are found in the Suggested Readings section at the bottom of this module.

Literature Reviews

This podcast features Drs. Teresa Chan and Larkin Lamarche on the topic of literature reviews. You may find that this podcast is repeated from the previous page, but that is by design. If you do not require the refresher by listening to this, please proceed on to the readings below.

Featured Education Scholars

Dr. Larkin Larmarche is a former teacher in the Health Sciences Education master's program. They are a Research Associate and Assistant Professor (part-time) with the Department of Family Medicine. They support several research programs within the department that focus on novel ways to support patients within primary care. Their own research program works toward understanding how body image (how you feel, think and act toward your body) is understood by primary health care providers and manifests in people who use the primary health care system. They are passionate about making conversations about body image more stigma-free and less medicalized in primary health care.

Dr. Teresa Chan (@TChanMD) is an associate professor in the Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Medicine at McMaster University. She is the assistant dean for McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences Program for Faculty Development (@MacPFD). She is an avid scholar in health professions education and works with the MERIT group (@MERIT_McMaster), and conducts research and scholarship within this area.

Suggested Readings:

  1. Cook DA, Bordage G, Schmidt HG. Description, justification and clarification: a framework for classifying the purposes of research in medical education. Medical education. 2008;42(2):128-33. Get it Mac | See on Medical Education

  2. Eva, K. W. (2008). On the limits of systematicity. Medical Education, 42(9), 852–853. Get it Mac | See on Medical Education

  3. Dine CJ, Shea JA, Kogan JR. Generating good research questions in health professions education. Academic Medicine. 2016 Dec1;91(12):e8. Get it Mac | See on Academic Medicine

  4. O’Brien BC, Ruddick VJ, Young JQ. Generating research questions appropriate for qualitative studies in health professions education. Academic Medicine. 2016 Dec 1;91(12):e16. Get it Mac | See on Academic Medicine

  5. Monte AA, Libby AM. Introduction to the Specific Aims Page of a Grant Proposal. Academic Emergency Medicine. 2018 Sep;25(9):1042-7. Get it Mac | See on Academic Emergency Medicine