John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship
Deadline: September 17
Guggenheim Fellowships are intended for individuals who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts. Guggenheim Fellowships are grants to selected individuals made for a minimum of six months and a maximum of twelve months. Since the purpose of the Guggenheim Fellowship program is to help provide Fellows with blocks of time in which they can work with as much creative freedom as possible, grants are made freely. No special conditions attach to them, and Fellows may spend their grant funds in any manner they deem necessary to their work. The United States Internal Revenue Service, however, does require the Foundation to ask for reports from its Fellows at the end of their Fellowship terms.
The Foundation receives approximately 3,000 applications each year. Although no one who applies is guaranteed success in the competition, there is no prescreening: all applications are reviewed. Approximately 175 Fellowships are awarded each year.
During the rigorous selection process, applicants will first be pooled with others working in the same field, and examined by experts in that field: the work of artists will be reviewed by artists, that of scientists by scientists, that of historians by historians, and so on. The Foundation has a network of several hundred advisers, who either meet at the Foundation offices to look at applicants’ work, or receive application materials to read offsite. These advisers, all of whom are themselves former Guggenheim Fellows, then submit reports critiquing and ranking the applications in their respective fields. Their recommendations are then forwarded to and weighed by a Committee of Selection, which then determines the number of awards to be made in each area. Occasionally, no application in a given area is considered strong enough to merit a Fellowship.
The Committee of Selection then forwards its recommendations to the Board of Trustees for final approval. The successful candidates in the United States and Canada competition are announced in early April.
The Foundation understands advanced professionals to be those who as writers, scholars, or scientists have a significant record of publication, or as artists, playwrights, filmmakers, photographers, composers, or the like, have a significant record of exhibition or performance of their work.
The Foundation understands the performing arts to be those in which an individual interprets work created by others. Accordingly, the Foundation will provide Fellowships to composers but not conductors, singers, or instrumentalists; choreographers but not dancers; filmmakers, playwrights, and performance artists who create their own work but not actors or theater directors.
The amounts of grants vary, and the Foundation does not guarantee it will fully fund any project. Working with a fixed annual budget, the Foundation strives to allocate its funds as equitably as possible, taking into consideration the Fellows’ other resources and the purpose and scope of their plans. Members of the teaching profession receiving sabbatical leave on full or part salary are eligible for appointment, as are those holding other fellowships and appointments at research centers.
The Foundation only supports individuals. It does not make grants to institutions or organizations.