This paper, on writing research questions, is the first in a series that aims to support novice researchers within clinical education, particularly those undertaking their first qualitative study. Put simply, a research question is a question that a research project sets out to answer. Most research questions will lead to a project that aims to generate new insights, but the target audience and the methodology will vary widely. The term ‘evaluation question’ is used less commonly, but the same principles apply. The key difference is that evaluation questions are typically more focused on the immediate context: for example, the effectiveness of an educational intervention in a particular setting. Whether your ambition is for research or evaluation, we hope that you will find this paper helpful for designing your own educational projects. A research question is a question that a research project sets out to answer.