The 118th edition of the seminar “How to design and defend your PhD” toke place at Catholic University of Porto, for doctoral students and supervisors as well as directors of doctoral schools and programmes from the main Portuguese universities. The main conclusions of the seminar were the following:
1. PhD completion is a global issue with national authorities in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, USA, and India reporting that about 50% of doctoral students are unable to conclude their PhD;
2. Philosophy, Sociology, History and Psychology of Science provide an helicopter view of issues related with research in general and PhD research in particular;
3. Idea Puzzle 21 decisions emphasize the dilemma between context and focus behind obvious research timelines, deliverables and tasks;
4. In terms of theory, Idea Puzzle 21 decisions emphasize the interdependency between the research question and the research gap, streams of thought and theoretical keywords;
5. In terms of data, Idea Puzzle 21 decisions emphasize the interdependency between the sample and the unit of analysis, unit of observation, and types of data collected;
6. In terms of method, Idea Puzzle 21 decisions emphasize the interdependency between the research strategy and the philosophical stance, data collection and analysis techniques, and quality criteria tactics;
7. In terms of rhetoric and authorship, Idea Puzzle 21 decisions emphasize the interdependency between persuasion, logic, and credibility as well as human, social and economic capital (wisdom, trust, and time).