The European Working Group for Glow Discharge Spectrometry (EW-GDS) was started at a meeting in Paris in 1992 as an informal “club” of those interested in depth profiling by Glow Discharge Optical Emission Spectrometry (GD-OES). It held its 2nd meeting as a post-symposium following the 1993 York Colloquium Spectroscopicum Internationale (CSI), and its scope was then widened to include bulk analysis, GD Mass Spectrometry (GD-MS) and discharge processes relevant to analytical GD Spectrometry (GDS). It then held unfunded meetings at one or two year intervals, linked to major relevant international conferences.

In 1997, an application for a three-year Thematic Network (GDSNet) under the EC Measurement and Testing was successful. GDSNet ran for three years (1999-2002) and had 17 partners and 18 associate partners. The main aim of the Network was to develop a more integrated approach to GDS throughout Europe. Funding was provided for general and specialist meetings, and for such activities as “round-robin” testing, but no funding was available for research personnel.  During this period, EW-GDS did not conduct any separate activities.

Following the end of GDSNet, EW-GDS resumed its role of providing informal collaboration on analytical GDS activities in Europe. Following two unsuccessful attempts to establish a GD Research Training Network (RTN), it was agreed at the EW-GDS meeting following the Winter Plasma Spectrochemistry conference in Budapest in 2005 that EMPA, Thun, Switzerland, would coordinate a further proposal for an EC Marie-Curie RTN. On this occasion, it was a two stage procedure lasting almost two years, but it was successful and “GLADNET” started in January 2007, involving 16 partners, Within this Network, ten ESR (postgraduate) posts and four ER (postdoctoral) posts were funded, and the Network led to an intensive research effort, six-monthly training courses/ meetings of all partners and a significant drawing together of the European GD community.

The four-year Network ended in January 2011, and the EW-GDS resumed its informal coordinating role. A great deal of effort has been put in to prepare a proposal for another European Training Network, but despite very high “marks” (>90%) funding has not been awarded. So we are concentration efforts now on publicizing smaller opportunities, and these can often be found elsewhere on this site.