The question or questions motivating the research should always be stated in a research paper. These questions might be asked in running text, for example in a Statement of Purpose section, or they could form a separate subsection of the Introduction. For the writer, listing the research questions can be a useful tool for structuring the paper and helping to maintain focus while writing. In turn, being able to see the exact questions helps readers form their expectations for the text.
In experimental sciences, the explicit hypotheses (that is, the predicted results of specific experiments) can also be stated. These hypotheses could all be given in the Introduction, or they could be given before describing individual experiments, depending on the length and type of text.