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I am in the process of applying for a junior research group leader position. The required documents include a "description of your scientific expertise" along with usual things like a publication list and a CV. Note that research and teaching statements are not listed.

To me, it is unclear how this description of scientific expertise should be included in the application. Should I simply include this in the cover letter, or should I somehow include this as a separate document like I would a list of publications?

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You could, of course, just ask them for advice on this. But since they list is as a separate requirement they are likely expecting a separate document. This lets you expand it a bit more than you might in the cover letter and go into some detail as appropriate. You can give background on the projects you have led or participated it, including, perhaps, outcomes.

You can also briefly discuss outcomes and impacts of the projects. Lots of possibilities if you have a blank slate.

And this may be just a research statement by another name.

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