Research Question

You’ve identified a need that you feel should be addressed through investigative research. Welcome to the research process! So...where to start? The basis of any successful research effort is a specific research question that hasn’t yet been asked. The resources here can help you understand the elements of a good research question and how to formulate the right question to address your identified need.

Basics of Clinical and Translational Research
  • What is Clinical and Translational Research (VIDEOS)
    • Learn about the objectives and stages of CTR through this series of short videos.
  • Getting Started with Research (GW Himmelfarb)
    • This guide is designed to assist early career researchers with research and publication related questions.
  • Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research (NIH)
    • This course trains registrants on how to effectively and safely conduct clinical research. Register to receive a certificate of completion or view the individual course lectures through the Non-Registered Lecture Option.
  • The Challenge of Health Equity in Clinical Research (Webinar - NIH)
    • This one-hour webinar provides steps researchers and clinicians can take to address health inequities in clinical trials. The goals of the webinar include understanding the history of recruitment science and the connection to diversity, discussing early data on engagement and recruitment research, and brainstorming suggestions to bolster recruitment.
Formulate a Testable Hypothesis
Conduct a Systematic or Literature Review
Strategic Planning
  • Developing a Strategic Plan
    • Get step-by-step guidance and materials to draft a sample Strategic Plan that is relevant, realistic and flexible
  • How to Build an Anti-racist Lab?
    • This article outlines ten simple rules for building an anti-racist lab.
  • SMARTIE Goals
    • When you’re moving from equity-neutral goals to goals with equity and inclusion considerations baked in, practice these tips to stay on track.
Gather Input on Your Ideas
  • Join a Journal Club!
    • List of SMHS journal clubs and departmental seminars
  • Center for Black Equity
    • The Center for Black Equity endeavors to help improve equity in three areas: Economic, Social, and Health
  • Local Community Research Partners
    • Urban Strategies Council provides comprehensive expertise to ensure that partnerships work and achieve maximum impact
  • Coalition of Communities of Color
    • Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) is committed to decolonizing research and data is a crucial part of realizing systemic change for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. This organization offers guidance to help establish research and data justice through the pursuit of racial equity and social justice.
  • Needs Assessment:
    • Identify the needs of priority groups and determine the degree to which they are met.
    • Who is the priority population?
    • What are the needs/strengths of the priority population?
    • Which subgroups within the priority population have the greatest need/strength?
    • Where are these subgroups located geographically?
    • What is currently being done to resolve identified needs?
    • How well the identified needs be addressed in the past?
  • Essentials of Clinical and Translational Science Course
    • This course provides medical professionals with foundational knowledge of research terminology, research methods and processes, clinical epidemiology, and biomedical statistics.
  • Systematic Review Service
    • NIH Library Informationists and Librarians regularly serve as part of systematic review teams. Services are provided to NIH and HHS customers by a NIH Library Informationist or Librarian. Request a consultation to discuss your systematic review.
  • PICO Cochrane Library Tool
    • A powerful discovery tool for finding Cochrane Reviews
Institutional Contacts
  • Research Launcher
    • The CTSI-CN Research Launcher is a resource designed to help anyone involved in clinical and translational research find the support they need to advance their research. Our Navigators will guide you through the Research Launcher process and connect you with the expertise, resources, tools, and services needed to accelerate your research.
  • GWU Academic Commons: Research Consultations