I was wondering whether it is normal to apply for a PhD student position, without actually knowing what your responsibilities will be. Normally researchers advertise with a job opening in which they specify what the research question is that needs to be tackled and what techniques shall be used for it. Today I had an informal introductory interview and I was expecting to be informed what the niche would be for the project, instead I was asked why I wanted to join the group and what I would like to study in it.. it caught me off gard, since there are a million things you could study (functional genomics of cancer biology). So friday I'll have an official meeting with the research group and I'll be presenting some of my own research to them, but this thing feels a bit fuzzy to me. I guess I'll dive into their literature and see if I can come up with a research question that fits into the scope of their laboratory..