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I applied last week for a PhD project at a European institution (the deadline was Friday 13-Nov). Due to seeing the position fairly late, I did not make contact with the project supervisor prior to applying (though it didn't say I had to do this).

I'm now wondering whether I should email the supervisor to say hello and let them know that I applied.

Pros: Means I don't interact with them for the very first time at an interview.

Cons: Seems slightly weird? Ideally, I would have emailed them before applying. I don't have much to say in the email, the project was fairly well described in the advertisement. I could ask for more detail, but I don't want to sound presumptive?

I'd love to hear what people think, and what they think I should include in any email.

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Assuming that they are involved in your application process (which is common in some places but not others), then you should contact them now. Explain that you saw the announcement late and want to give them whatever information they might need at this time.

I wouldn't flood them with information in the first contact but be ready to supply information if they ask for it. But an introduction and expression of interest in their work won't hurt and might help.

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