This is a sort of general existential question, but I hope it's specific enough to be welcome here.
I'm a reasonably successful not-quite-exactly-young-any-more researcher in my field, but I don't yet have a permanent position. I'm aiming to move to the UK to (re)establish my career there, but I'm becoming a little despondent about my options.
I did my PhD in a UK university, and after a short postdoc in Europe I secured a fellowship in Japan. When that ended I moved to another Japanese institute. I've been in Japan for seven years in total, as an independent researcher for all of that time. My rank is approximately equal to lecturer in the UK. This all probably sounds great, but my issue having never had an academic job in the UK it seems strangely impossible to enter the system.
Part of the issue is that so far my career has been research only - I've never had teaching duties or supervised a student. As I understand it there are no permanent UK academic jobs without a substantial teaching component, so it seems that no matter what comes up I'll be massively underqualified on that front, even if I'm a good candidate as far as research goes. (Not that I have anything against teaching - I imagine it's something I could enjoy a great deal - I just don't know the first thing about it.)
My other problem is that my research field is in basic science and is quite far from any applications. It seems to be a 'hot topic' in the Japanese and US funding systems, but it seems to be quite hard to get funding for it in the UK or EU.
So my question is simply, what kind of jobs might exist in the UK for someone in my position, and what might be a sensible strategy for re-entering the UK academic system? I'd be quite happy to have a non-permanent job at first (such as a fellowship), but I'd be very unhappy to give up my research independence. My first priority would be to get my foot in the door, but presumably it's also important to get the teaching experience that would be necessary to move to a professorship position eventually.