This study aimed to identify elements of good practice for researchers dealing with standards and standardisation in the course of research projects funded by Horizon 2020. The study involved (a) screening the replies to a European Commission survey sent to 2,200 beneficiaries of Horizon 2020 with evidence of standardisation activities (valid responses obtained from 1,020 projects with a 46 % return rate) and (b) applying a set of exclusion (‘must have’) and bonus point criteria, derived from targeted literature and expert interviews. We then selected 40 projects exhibiting a range of ‘elements of good practice’ for case study analysis, which identified any additional elements of good practice. Results indicate the existence of a stable and recurring set of elements of good practice. One important result is that the more exploratory research activities and the more formal standardisation processes are different in nature and difficult to synchronise. Standardisation activities within a research project largely lead to a need to engage in wider stakeholder management. There need to be close ties between the research consortia and the technical committees that develop standards. Researchers’ awareness of and know-how about standardisation processes are frequently low, and the development of recognised performance indicators to track the success of technology transfer and valorisation activities is in its infancy. Recommendations were developed for universities / public research organisations (institutional level), researchers (project level), policymakers and the wider stakeholder community, and specifically regarding the development of performance indicators.