I am planning to start a new project on a certain topic, which nobody in my institution is an expert in. I have spent several weeks on literature research on this topic (by superficially reading papers without studying them), however it is very hard and inefficient to find a well-defined problem all by myself.
So I need help from an expert, currently my knowledge on this specific topic is very superficial. I plan to properly get my self ready while doing the research after I find a well-defined problem, because without a well-defined problem it is very hard to make a structured well-defined path, I would end up wasting time by jumping from one paper to another blindly (I have been there).
I have prepared several questions related to this topic that may lead to a research problem, however it is very likely that those questions are very ignorant.
I have sent emails to several people, after the first email they usually respond but when I send those long questions I don't hear from them anymore.
So I would like to learn what is the proper way to ask a an expert that I haven't met before, for a help direction guidance to find a well-defined problem?
The thing is, I really need this problem on that specific topic, because of several reasons, I tried to find by myself, but without proper experience in that field, it is hard and extremely inefficient. Also, I know it is something pretty unusual but I must find this problem, and I know for an expert it would be pretty straightforward. Any advice would be great!
edit: I need this specific topic because, I have finished the first year of my 3 year PhD, and so far it was jumping from one project to another randomly with the direction my advisor, and it was mostly a dead end. Thus I need a well-defined project that puts me on a track and helps to have a good understanding of my current field. Currently, what I do is not efficient, I am not learning the important first principles of the field it is just random drafting. I need a systematic, structured path. It is hard to explain without telling the specifics. But that certain topic I want is not that a narrow topic it is quite broad. and if someone spends a year on a project involving that topic, he would really have a very good understanding of the overall field that I am working on. I mean that topic, would really teach most of the very important fundamentals, also would be really beneficial.
To explain this more, what I am doing now is like watching a tv series starting from episode 150, so it makes some sense but always something is missing, in order to get the overall picture in order to have a bottom-up approach I have to start from episode 1. And that specific topic would provide that. There are a lot of papers coming out on that topic I know there are accessible problems for a PhD student without a deep background on that topic. The matter is, this is getting out of scope but, I know I can have a very good productive PhD. But as things going now it is not going well. I am certain if I keep doing what I am doing at the end I will be one of the failed PhD's. So I think I have to take the wheel and make good plan respect to my aims. And I think a project on that rigorous topic that will teach most of the fundamentals of my field, also which will give a deep insight and the first principles would be really what I need. Otherwise, this PhD and my career, my potential(?) are just fading away. I mean PhD is knowing something very well, but currently for me, it was just having superficial ideas on a lot of different stuff. So I have to turn things around. Focus on this important topic, which will help me to be very good on one thing.