This comes following my other question. When writing a research plan/statement when applying for an assistant professor position, how should be the document structure?

I have to explain a few (e.g., 3- 5) topics for my future research.

Should these be general topics or as specific as a research proposal?

Should I prove that I have a strong background in these fields or it is enough that the ideas are novel and attractive?

Should I include technical data/figures or the purpose is just the general description?

Should I explain expected outcome as we do in a proposal?

With your research plan, you need to convince a recruitment committee that you have a viable plan from which to launch your career.

Your plan will need to show the committee

  • that it is scientifically sound
  • that you have the skill set to carry it out (or know how you will acquire it)
  • that you understand what resources you need to carry it out
  • that you understand your funding streams
  • that there is something that gives you competitive advantage among the dozens of other people in the field vying for money from the same pool as you.

The weight of each of these considerations will be a function of your complete package.

So, the generic answer to all of your questions is "do what you need to do to accomplish the list above"

I suggest you work on your plan and carefully review it with some mentors.

As to the level of specificity, you shouldn't have to lay out complete experimental protocols, but you should be prepared to discuss each proposed line of experiments at that level. In your statement, though, it would be quite useful to have specific hypotheses for each research path.

You should also be prepared to prioritize. When asked about how you would spend the next five years, you should know the answer, and pretty specifically.

These are really broad questions, hence difficult to answer in a helpful way.

When writing a research plan/statement when applying for an assistant professor position, how should be the document structured?

If the application guidance gives no details, it's entirely up to you to decide on that. Have you approached the contacts where you are applying to ask them directly? If that matters to you that much, you should not mind asking for additional details.

Should these be general topics or as specific as a research proposal?

Again, it's entirely up to you to decide on that. Think also in terms of disciplinary habits. Are proposals in your discipline rather generic or thorough?

Should I prove that I have a strong background in these fields or it is enough that the ideas are novel and attractive?

Think if you were in a position to select applicants: what would you prefer? Probably a combination of both. If someone has little experience in a field, probability to come up with novel and attractive is smaller, I would think, don't you?

Should I include technical data/figures or the purpose is just the general description?

If you feel like technical data is needed and useful to make your line of argument and your whole proposal stronger and more compelling in order to be selected, why not go for it?

Should I explain expected outcome as we do in a proposal?

If you are used to explain expected research outcomes in your field of expertise, why do any different this time? Recruiting colleagues are bound to appreciate a clear and long-sighted research proposal and vision.

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