I am planing to apply for Phd in Epidemiology and I am struggling with the best way to go about contacting the PIs. I have seen suggestions that apart from mentioning that one is interested and passionate about PIs work they should ideally ask 1/2 specific thing about the work of the PIs or try some little project based on the PI 's work.
I have read about 11 recent papers from 2 PIs and for some reason I can not come up with any questions (either I am too dumb or I grasp the paper quite well. IDK). Also, I can not think of a project based on their work either. I have done my tertiary education from US (English is my 2nd language) and I have been out of the school for 5+ years. My couple month old GRE also stinks (VR/Quant both 148 and Writing 4.5). I am not gunning for ivy or top 20-30 schools if that matters.
I am really interested in infectious disease epi and ph emergency management. I am certified in infectious disease and have work experience in both infectious disease and emergency management post mph.
So, now coming to my main question, Can I just contact the PIs mentioning that I have read their recent papers on ______ topics and really interested on their work and let my work experience and certification speak for my passion (also 1 of my reference letter strongly speaks about my interest in infectious disease). Do you guys have any other suggestions? Thanks in advance.