The United States & Canadian Competition

The Fellowship competition was at first open only to citizens of either the United States or its possessions. In keeping with the Guggenheims’ intentions, as expressed in their First Letter of Gift, the awards were originally titled the “John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowships for Advanced Study Abroad.” Beginning with the inaugural class of fifteen Fellows in 1926, all Fellows were required to spend their terms outside of the United States. But eager to place as few restrictions as possible on the Fellows, the Foundation rescinded that requirement with the competition of 1941.

Canadians became eligible for the Guggenheim Fellowships in 1940, and the name of the competition changed to “United States and Canada.” Residents of the Philippines were eligible from the establishment of the Foundation (for the Philippines were a U.S. territory at that time) until 1988, when the Philippine program was discontinued; applications from the Philippines were considered by the Committee of Selection for the United States and Canada through 1949, when that responsibility shifted to the Latin American Committee.