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To date, the one-hour free webinar 'Research design with the Idea Puzzle® software' was organised by 87 higher education institutions in 22 countries. Since 2013, the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management (EIASM) in Brussels organises a longer version of the webinar annually. Contact us to organise a one-hour free webinar and a two-months free trial of the Idea Puzzle® software at your university. 



The Idea Puzzle® software is a decision-making tool that helps PhD students coherently align the theory, method, data, rhetoric, and authorship of a research proposal, article or thesis in the light of Philosophy of Science (Morais & Brailsford, 2019). 

In 2016, the Academy of Management Learning & Education (4.0 Impact Factor) considered the Idea Puzzle® software "a very useful tool for research across a multitude of disciplines, not only for PhD students as they learn about all of the elements of research project design, but also for reviewers and research project teams" (Parente & Ferro, 2016, p. 645). To date, the Idea Puzzle® software has helped design more than 5000 research projects worldwide.

The Idea Puzzle® software poses 21 questions, helps answer them, and allows the self-evaluation of each answer. The output of the Idea Puzzle® software is a research design with around 2000 words, an overall score and a coloured jigsaw puzzle of progress, that can be shared in PDF or Word. The help function of the Idea Puzzle® software includes examples of research designs from Design, Engineering, Management, Media, Medicine, Psychology and Veterinary as well as definitions, introductions, tips, and bibliography.



PhD students, supervisors, and methodology teachers in any field of knowledge.



After the webinar, participants will be able to coherently align the theory, method, data, rhetoric, and authorship of a research proposal, article or thesis with the Idea Puzzle® software. In addition, they will be able to diagnose the strengths and weaknesses of a research project.



1. Relation between epistemology, methodology, ontology, and axiology; 

2. Coherence between theory, method, data, rhetoric, and authorship;

3. Doctoral research as a system of 21 dilemmatic decisions.



Ricardo Morais, married and father of three daughters, is Head of the Management Department at Católica Porto Business School, coordinator of the doctoral seminar "How to design your PhD" at the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management (EIASM) in Brussels, CEO of Idea Puzzle, and alumni of HPI School of Design Thinking in Germany. He holds a PhD in Strategic Management from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, having graduated in Management from the Faculty of Economics of the University of Porto. His research interests are interdisciplinary, including Philosophy of Science, Strategic Management, and Design Thinking. Since 2002, he has published more than 30 academic articles, chapters, and papers about these topics and lectured in 89 higher education institutions in 22 countries. He is a member of the Philosophy of Science Association, Strategic Management Society, and Academy of Management. Since 1996, he co-founded John Crane Safematic in Brazil, Revenio Group in Finland, and Idea Puzzle in Portugal. Since 2000, he was a consultant in projects for the European Commission, Sonae Indústria, Portuguese Government, CCDR-N, Azores Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Associação Missão Crescimento, and Fundação Amélia de Mello. 

Australia, Flinders University
Australia, Quality in Postgraduate Research Conference
Austria, International Society for Professional Innovation Management Conference
Belgium, European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management
Belgium, European University Association Council for Doctoral Education
Belgium, European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers
Brazil, Universidade Católica do Salvador
 Brazil, Universidade Federal de Goiás
Brazil, Universidade Federal do Pará

Chile, Universidad Catolica de la Santisima Concepción
Chile, Universidad de Concepción
Chile, Universidad del Bío-Bío
Denmark, Aalborg University
Denmark, Southern Denmark University
Estonia, Estonian Business School
Finland, Aalto University
Finland, Finnish Graduate School of Applied Bioscience
Finland, HAAGA-HELIA University of Applied Sciences
Finland, Hanken School of Economics
Finland, University of Jyväskylä
Finland, University of Tampere
Germany, Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber, Dresden
 Indonesia, Telkom University

Lithuania, ISM University of Management and Economics
New Zealand, University of Auckland
Pakistan, GC University Lahore
Portugal, Academia Militar
Portugal, Escola Superior Artística do Porto
Portugal, Escola Superior de Saúde de Viana do Castelo
Portugal, Escola Superior de Tecnologia da Saúde do Porto
Portugal, Escola Superior de Turismo e Tecnologia do Mar
Portugal, Escola Superior Gallaecia
Portugal, Escola Superior Náutica Infante D. Henrique
Portugal, Instituto de Estudos Superiores de Fafe
Portugal, Instituto de Telecomunicações
Portugal, Instituto Piaget
Portugal, Instituto Politécnico da Guarda
 Portugal, Instituto Politécnico de Beja

Portugal, Instituto Politécnico de Leiria
Portugal, Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa
Portugal, Instituto Politécnico de Santarém
Portugal, Instituto Politécnico do Cávado e do Ave
Portugal, Instituto Português de Administração de Marketing
Portugal, Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão
Portugal, Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto
Portugal, ISCTE
Portugal, ISMAI
Portugal, Sociedade Portuguesa de Terapia da Fala
Portugal, Universidade Aberta
Portugal, Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa
Portugal, Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Portugal, Universidade da Beira Interior
Portugal, Universidade da Madeira
Portugal, Universidade de Aveiro
Portugal, Universidade de Coimbra
Portugal, Universidade de Évora
Portugal, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro
Portugal, Universidade do Algarve
 Portugal, Universidade do Minho

Portugal, Universidade do Porto
Portugal, Universidade Europeia 
Portugal, Universidade Fernando Pessoa
Portugal, Universidade Lusíada
Portugal, Universidade Lusófona
Portugal, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Portugal, Universidade Portucalense
Portugal, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa
Slovakia, University of Economics in Bratislava
 South Africa, University of the Western Cape

Spain, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Spain, Universidad de La Coruña
Spain, Universidad de León
Spain, Universidad Nebrija
Spain, Universidade de Vigo
Spain, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Spain, Universitat de Barcelona
Spain, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Spain, Universitat Rovira i Virgili
Sweden, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Sweden, Stockholm School of Economics
Sweden, Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship
Sweden, University of Uppsala
Switzerland, University of St. Gallen
 United Arab Emirates, University of Wollongong in Dubai

United Kingdom, University of Lancaster
United Kingdom, University of Salford
United States, UCLA University of California, Los Angeles