When and How Should I Request for a Recommendation Letter from A Professor Who Mentored Me in a Research Project?

Hi! I am an international student and want to apply to Harvard under REA (deadline Nov 1, 2022). I did a math research project supervised by a local university professor last year, which has just been released. I want to ask:

  1. Is such a recommendation letter under “Supplemental Letter”, (or some section similar to it) which is specific to each university (which means that it can only be submitted through a link sent to my email or via the Harvard application portal after I submit the common app application first)?
  2. Should the letter be sent by the professor to Harvard by email without me being able to view it, or should I get the letter from the professor first in pdf. format and submit it as part of my supplementary portfolio (together with my research paper) via Slideroom?
  3. Would it be more appropriate for me to draft a recommendation for myself, highlight some good qualities, and send it to the professor to make slight modifications and sign it, OR ask the professor to draft a letter for me as he wishes?

Hope someone can help me with this. Thanks for reading.

An extra recommendation should only be submitted if the colleges states that they will accept such a letter. If they do, they will probably state on the website how to submit it. If not, ask your school guidance counselor how to go about that.

Under no circumstances should you draft your own letter, see the letter, or submit the letter yourself. You will have to waive your rights to view any letters of recommendation (FERPA waiver.) You are not supposed to see what a recommendation says. The whole point is for the college to get a truthful idea of you and your skills. It is okay to give a teacher a cheat sheet of what they might want to mention in their letter, and of course, to let them know how to submit it.

The first step is to submit an abstract of the paper with your application.

If the admin officer at Harvard who reviews your application is otherwise interested in your application they will send the abstract to a Harvard math prof for review. If the prof finds merit in the abstract, you’ll receive a request from the admissions officer for a full copy of the paper along with a supplemental recommendation letter.