At the crossroads of biology and the study of light, the field of biophotonics has emerged as a crucial determinant for advancing applications in medicine, life science, agriculture and environmental science. The National Biophotonics Imaging Platform Ireland (NBIPI) represents a consortium of laboratories in the field that has been furthering the topic, especially in imaging for life sciences. Building on this, the EU-funded project 'The NBIPI career enhancement mobility programme' (CEMP) helped experienced academicians or fellows to become scientists or educators in biophotonics. Under the NBIPI, the project-funded fellows were exposed to interdisciplinary research and training programmes in imaging and biophotonics through an elaborate post-doctoral fellowship programme. Efforts in this direction were launched at a conference in March 2009 which eventually led to awarding 16 fellowships ranging from 1- 2 years in duration. CEMP provided training in the field, focusing as well on leadership and management. To this end, the fellows participated in a leadership and management development programme (LMDP) to help them succeed as managers and planners of research programmes. In other words, the training covered development of not only scientific skills but complementary ones such as grant funding, technical staff supervision, patent applications and project management. It also included management of knowledge transfer, intellectual property issues, building collaboration and financial management. Noteworthy is that the project enabled fellows to conduct the kind of research that they were more interested in, providing them with cutting-edge infrastructure to do so. All the initiatives, facilities and training of LMDP are tailored to produce a new generation of very able researchers in the field of biophotonics.