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Currently, I am applying for several Ph.D. positions. I have seen two interesting positions from the same group/professor. The requirements for both positions are really similar but the topics are different (but same field). Since there are not that many positions within my field, I considered applying for both positions, but I wonder what the professor might think? The documents (CV, cover letter ...) would be the same and he might think I just copy & paste my applications.

Should I contact him before? What could I say?

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  • Only the professor knows what the professor thinks. You could ask them or you could just apply for both. – Anonymous Physicist Aug 22 '20 at 10:32
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Personally, I would prefer to get one application in which you clearly indicate that you are interested in both of these and also showing your qualifications for them both.

But I don't know what rules there might be at the institution you are applying to or what constraints the PI might be under. So, it would be best to ask first and see what advice you get. It isn't outside the realm of possibility that the PI is delegating the examination of the applications to others for initial assessment.

Alternatively, prepare applications for each separately and when you submit them, do so with a note that you are interested and qualified for both and that the two applications have overlap in some ways.

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