I have recently been awarded an NWO Open Competition ENW-Klein-1 grant. Here is a description of this funding program:
In the NWO Open Competition Domain Science researchers can apply individually or in collaboration for curiosity-driven, fundamental research in the research fields of the NWO Domain Science (ENW).
This funding instrument is open for research proposals with a question in or overlapping the fields of earth sciences, astronomy, chemistry, computer science, life sciences, physics and mathematics. Proposals can be monodisciplinary, multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary in nature. The NWO Domain Science has three different types of funding that you can submit proposals for in open competition. These are the small-scale (KLEIN, XS) and large-scale (GROOT) grants.
The topic of the grant proposal is Clustering and Spectral Concentration in Markov Chains. Here is its public summary:
The ability to accurately discover all hidden relations between items that share similarities is of paramount importance to a wide range of disciplines. Clustering algorithms in particular are employed throughout social sciences, biology, computer science, economics, and physics. One fundamental technique from artificial intelligence that still needs to benefit from clustering is Reinforcement Learning (RL), which has recently received substantial attention due to its wide spectrum of applications in robotics, games, medicine, finance, etc. By tackling the problem of clustering in Markov Chains (MCs) mathematically, we can exponentially speed up RL in the future and enter a new era of artificial intelligence.