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I have completed my master's degree in aerospace engineering from India, and I am continuously looking for PhD opportunities in Europe in the field of aerospace propulsion.

In this regard, I have come across a few advertised PhD positions in line with my research interest. I have met the minimum requirements for admission into these programs (Language and GPA requirements).

Before applying to these positions, I would like to know if my profile fits their requirements. In this regard, I would like to first email the professor and explain my case.

I have seen many people have answered on how to write to a prospective supervisor and ask them if they have any open positions or upcoming projects. But, I would like to know what to specifically ask the professor when I write a mail regarding the advertised position.

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  • I would like to know what to specifically ask professor when I write a mail regarding the advertised position? Only you can know what you want to ask. Perhaps you can edit your question to elaborate on what it is you're looking for. – user2768 Sep 21 '20 at 12:32
  • In which region are you applying? Are these university positions or positions advertised by one professor/group? – user151413 Sep 21 '20 at 18:20
  • A bit OT: And, in general, the applicant should look for logistics and economical treatment. PhD, especially abroad and in hard science, requires a minimum of safety or comfort. Things as little as a cooking corner were important to me. Others didn't care, but having cheese and apple instead of something warm after an evening in the lab could have stopped my successful PhD. Before a PhD turns into a success there might be quite hard phases, so every little comfort might make the difference. – Alchimista Sep 22 '20 at 11:08
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I would like to know if my profile fits their requirements.

If I were you, I would not ask this. First of all, it's not really clear what you mean by "requirements" -- you have already indicated that you meet the published GPA and language requirements, so it's unlikely that there is anything else they could tell you. Second of all, it's not relevant to your possible connection with this specific professor. Third and finally, professors are generally busy and do not always respond to unsolicited mail; the chances they will respond are even lower if you ask vague and/or logistical questions.

Instead, assume you do fit the requirements, and instead focus on your interest in working in this professor's group. Talk briefly about your qualifications (e.g., research interests and research or classroom experience related to the professor's area), and simply ask if they have open positions in their lab. Keep it brief but indicate your interest and knowledgability about their research clearly.

If you successfully establish credibility and the professor likes what you say, and they have open positions, it's likely you have good chances of getting in (because the professor can vouch for you). Typically, the actual "requirements" are not so important and may not even be well-defined.

I would like to know what to specifically ask professor when I write a mail regarding the advertised position?

The best question to ask is already in your post:

  • Do you have any open positions or upcoming projects related to [topic of interest X] in your group?

It's clear and to-the-point, and assuming your email has indicated you are a strong candidate, it gives them a direct opportunity to express interest in having you as a student.

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