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I have a Skype interview for a highly competivite lecturer position at a UK university (100 applicants).

I don't have large sums of money from external grants nor a fellowship but plenty of other things going for me. The question I have is: how can I up sell not having any grants or fellowships to compete with those applicants who do?

I should add that its in the intersection between engineering and physical sciences and healthcare.

  • Do you have a concrete plan for how you will acquire grants ASAP? – Dawn Apr 19 at 14:32
  • Thanks Dawn. I have a 5 year road map of what fellowships (including alternatives) I will apply for once in the position. My slight worry is that they may say its wishful thinking – HCAI Apr 19 at 14:38
  • I can not see the upside of not having grants or fellowships. I am afraid in that respect you just are not competitive. If you can come up with an upside then frankly your talents are misused. You would be better suited to sales or politics. – emory Apr 19 at 16:50
  • If they want you to seek funding then you have to show potential for getting it. A track record is one way but not the only way. What about ties to industry? – A Simple Algorithm Apr 19 at 19:06
  • Yes, I've worked with a big consultancy firm as part of my PhD and now do consultancy for them in the form of teaching at another institution. I've had interest from a space agency and currently work with a national a healthcare organisation. A couple of things in the pipeline including impact acceleration funding. – HCAI Apr 20 at 11:36
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Just a few ideas:

First, obviously you should emphasize the strengths in your profile during the interview, so don't insist too much on this point since it's a bit of a weakness in your case.

Nevertheless you should at least show that you are aware that it's something that you'll be expected to do should you get the job. Ideally you should have a plan with some specifics: know and mention the main potential sources of funding in your domain, possibly a specific call or two for which you can say that you will apply. If possible/relevant, mention any organization or people in your network who could be potential partners, especially if they already have a good track record in getting grants, and say that you will collaborate with them to obtain funding.

  • Thanks Erwan, I think this is in line with what I had in mind. Do you think, having a fellowship automatically trumps other types of experience (e.g. Teaching or industrial collaboration?). Or not necessarily? – HCAI Apr 21 at 5:51
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    @HCAI no, it's unlikely that a fellowship would be a strict requirement. as far as I know hiring committees always look at the whole picture, they take into account the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates for the specific job. Usually it's more important to have arguments about how well you match the job profile, how you can integrate in the group/institution, this kind of thing. – Erwan Apr 21 at 14:25

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