I am going to apply to Italian universities for PhD vacancies in Statistics, which is not exactly the field that I studied during my BSc and MSc. I count to acquire the instruments for doing actual research during the first years of the program but I am asked to submit a short research proposal during the application process.
I already have in mind some topics to research but I am not really deep into them so that it would be very time consuming even to arrange summaries and provide short bibliographies about the matters. I could probably end up spending (let's say) one month reading about one of the topics I have in mind only to understand I should actually apply with another one as research proposal because of my understanding of the subject (which would probably be tested during interviews).
Would it be appropriate to approach the faculty before the application and ask which topic it would be better to present as research proposal? Also in light of having better chances to be accepted.
I want to add that right now I am employed, otherwise of course I would enjoy reading everything I could.