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Idea Puzzle is a decision-making tool that helps PhD candidates 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). It also helps review the strengths and weaknesses of a research project in any field of knowledge.


In 2016, the Academy of Management Learning & Education (4.3 Impact Factor) considered Idea Puzzle "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, Idea Puzzle has helped design more than 6000 research projects worldwide. The one-hour free webinar 'Research design with Idea Puzzle' was lectured by Ricardo Morais 304 times in 92 higher education institutions from 25 countries. Some doctoral schools also offer a course on research design the Idea Puzzle.

Idea Puzzle poses 21 questions, helps answer them, and allows the self-evaluation of each answer. The output of Idea Puzzle 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 Idea Puzzle includes examples of prize winning research designs from Design, Engineering, Management, Media, Medicine, Psychology and Veterinary as well as definitions, introductions, tips, and bibliography. 

The access to Idea Puzzle is exclusively online, without installation on the computer. Register with an institutional email from a licensed university to access Idea Puzzle for free or with another email to subscribe it individually (19 euros per year)
. The institutional license for the university (1000 euros per year for unlimited users) is usually acquired by doctoral schools and makes their PhD candidates eligible for the Idea Puzzle Prize.