Within the past thre years or so I had a Program Officer mention the idea of "closeout funding" to me.
One of my top few flabbergasting moments as an extramural scientist.
It referred, of course, to them using program discretion to give a softer landing to one of their favored long-time PIs who had failed to get a fundable score on a competing renewal. It was said in a context that made it clear it was a regular thing in their decision space.
This explains an awful lot of strange R56 BRIDGE (to nowhere) awards, I thought to myself.
I bring this up because I think it relates to this week's discussion of the proposed "emeritus award" concept.