I'm in my 3rd year of postdocs and started to apply for Lecturer positions in Computer Science the UK (the entry level permanent faculty positions). As part of my interview process, I am required to give a 15 minute presentation about my current research and my three year research plan, and am looking for some advice on how to do the latter. The focus of the research plan presentation is not only on the ideas you propose, but in major part about how you plan to obtain funding for it and how many research staff you can bring in from that funding to support your research.
I've looked through some other questions regarding UK faculty applications, research plan writing and content, which offer some good advice. However, I am looking for advice specifically targeting early-career researchers applying for their first faculty position.
The two specific aspects I am concerned about is the transition from postdoctoral positions where shorter-term career plans are the norm, as well as my relative inexperience with grant writing (I've recently been included in the late stages of grant writing by my advisor, but that's it).
Of course I am not planning to take the answers I get here my only source of information; I have an advisor happy to discuss this with me and give me specific tips, and have been looking up information about funding for new faculty members online as well as through chatting with fresh hires in my department (with some hinting they rely on the informal support and sharing of more junior research staff from within their team while applying for initial external funding).
So, considering that I've never held a faculty position, have limited experience with grant applications (but an understanding that it is an acquired skill as well as very competitive and thus uncertain), never independently proposed a research project (tho I am always active in proposing and typically independent in choosing which approaches I want to apply to problems), and never formally worked with a PhD or a postdoctoral researcher for full the duration of a project, the questions I have are:
How "confidently" am I supposed to write the research plan? Should I write it assuming I will have a student / research postdoc available to work with, or should I also present a plan for the situation where I do not have "my own staff" for a while?
One major consideration is that UK faculty typically has about 40% of their time dedicated to research (rest is teaching and admin), as opposed to research staff (PhD students and postdocs) with 90+% of their time dedicated to research. Therefore the amount of research that one realistically can conduct would depend substantially on how much funding one manages to secure.
How many backup grant options do I need to include? I understand there is some grant options specifically targeting fresh faculty in the UK, so should I demonstrate that I plan to ask the appropriate parties for funding, or also try to cover the case of no applications being successful?
To summarize: I am concerned and would like advice about the level of confidence in the tone of a 3-year research plan for a fresh faculty member.
I worry that, on the one hand, including many backup options could be seen as "setting myself up to fail", while, on the other hand, too confident a tone would make me come across as somebody not understanding the competitiveness and difficulties in obtaining funding due to my lack of experience.
The level of detail is clear from the format: it's a 15 minute presentation with some time for questions, so I won't have time to talk in much detail, but I might be asked to elaborate on any aspect of it. All in all, I am a fair deal nervous, and I'm not even sure I'm asking the right questions here; any advice from the perspective of applying for a first-time faculty position would be great.